Friday, April 25, 2014

Going Over by Beth Kephart

Going Over (Sneak Preview)Going Over by Beth Kephart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you so much to my Goodreads group, YA Reads for Teachers (And Any Other Adults, Chronicle Books, and Beth Kephart for this advance reader's copy, what a great read! I read Small Damages by Beth Kephart Small Damagesand fell in love with Kephart's word usage and wonderfully drawn characters. I felt the same way reading this book. I was completely immersed in Ada and Stefan's lives in the separate cities of East and West Berlin in the 1980s. The isolation and heartache that the Berlin Wall caused to families, friends, and communities is palpable in this tale of love, family, and sacrifice. We learn in alternating chapters from Ada (her chapters are titled SO36) and Stefan (his chapters are titled Friedrichshain)what life was like before and after the Berlin Wall divided their life and worlds. Spunky, cocky Ada lives with her mother (Mutti)and grandmother (Omi)in "155 kilometers of wrong," but in the freedom of West Berlin. Their freedom consists of eking out a spare existence in a squatter's commune. By day, pink haired Ada goes to school, works at a day care center (catering to Turkish immigrants)and by night, daring to paint a graffiti wall of heroes. Independent Ada dodges guards with rifles in towers and works by flashlight daring to create this wall. Stefan lives with his Grossmutter (grandmother) in East Berlin where he does not go to school, is dictated to become a plumber and yearns to be with Ada and "her love brighter than color." Where kind, sweet Stefan is full of what ifs about escaping, Ada is confident with her many newspaper stories of those who risked danger and found freedom over The Wall. Will Stefan take the risk for Ada? Going Over is so much more than a love story- I also loved Savas, Arabelle's pregnancy, Mutti, Omi and Grossmutter's lives since the War and The Wall. You will ache for these characters. Beth Kephart's words of beauty, fear, and hope make this a very special book - enjoy and dare to hope!

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