Gerta is eight years old when West and East Berlin are divided – two days after her father and brother had left East Berlin and cannot return. Gerta, her mother, and brother watch the wall go up and must suffer the hardships and violence of Soviet rule for four years until Gerta sees her father on the other side doing a silly dance to encourage her to dig a tunnel to escape. This suspenseful novel follows the family’s efforts to escape the oppressive regime and reunite. Suitable for read-aloud, literature circle, or classroom library, the novel deals with difficult topics of separation of family and friends, oppression, freedom, resistance, perseverance, safety, and state power. Social considerations noted. Log in to read the full review.