Monday, April 25, 2016

Suri's wall by Lucy Estela illustrated by Matt Ottley

The poignancy of this story comes from phrases such as

"The wall was Suri's only friend"
"She watched the other children playing in the courtyard.  
She was different to them."
"Her heart ached to join them."
"For a while Suri let herself cry."

One day Suri discovers she is now tall enough to look over the wall.  A little child asks Suri what she can see.  At this point in the book I am sure your students will gasp but I suggest you stop and ask for ideas from the class before turning the page. One thing to notice is the way Matt Ottley beautifully changes the colour palette as Suri describes the scene she 'sees'.

Read more about Matt Ottley.  Here is a comprehensive set of teaching notes with questions for each page of the book.  If you have a subscription you can view this book on The Storybox Library.

Take some time to read the author web site and view the video of her book launch which explores the idea of walls.  Here is a detailed review.

Suri's Wall is a title from our CBCA 2016 Notables list. I am certain it will be among the six short listed titles which will be announced in May.

This book would be a useful addition to an ethics class.  It raises questions about truth versus deception.  You might also like to compare Suri's wall with Journey by Aaron Becker.

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