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Going Over
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Going Over
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It is February 1983, and Berlin is a divided city with a miles-long barricade separating east from west. But the city isn't the only thing that is divided. Ada lives among the rebels, punkers, and...
It is February 1983, and Berlin is a divided city with a miles-long barricade separating east from west. But the city isn't the only thing that is divided. Ada lives among the rebels, punkers, and...
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  • It is February 1983, and Berlin is a divided city with a miles-long barricade separating east from west. But the city isn't the only thing that is divided. Ada lives among the rebels, punkers, and immigrants of Kreuzberg in West Berlin. Stefan lives in East Berlin, in a faceless apartment bunker of Friedrichshain. Bound by love and separated by circumstance, their only chance for a life together lies in a high-risk escape. But will Stefan find the courage to leap? Or will forces beyond his control stand in his way? National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart presents a story of daring and sacrifice, and love that will not wait.

About the Author-

  • Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of books for both adults and young readers, including You Are My Only, Small Damages, and Handling the Truth. She lives in Devon, Pennsylvania.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 9, 2014
    Kephart (Small Damages) crafts an absorbing story of young love and conflicting ideologies set in 1983 Berlin. Ada, 15, lives an impoverished life in West Berlin with her mother and grandmother, while 18-year-old Stefan—who Ada has loved for years—lives with his grandmother in dull Friedrichshain on the other side of the wall. The plot shifts between Ada's life, which includes "graffing" scenes of heroic escapes on the Wall itself and visiting Stefan when she can, and Stefan's dissatisfied days spent working as a plumber's apprentice while developing tentative plans to attempt to overcome the wall, despite the potentially fatal consequences. Kephart alternates between the two teenagers' voices, with Stefan's voice written in second-person; deeply held desires for freedom and escape, both physical and artistic, radiate from each narrative. A subplot involving a Turkish boy in need of help gives the novel additional depth, and the sharpness of the lovers' separation is as deeply felt as the worry that they will never reunite. Ages 14–up. Agent: Amy Rennert, the Amy Rennert Agency.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2014
    Life in the grim shadow of the Berlin Wall is vividly reflected in Kephart's moving exploration in two voices. Ada, a nearly 16-year-old graffiti artist, lives in poverty in West Berlin, but Stefan, the 18-year-old boy she loves, lives on the other side of the wall in even more difficult conditions. Their only hope for a future together is if he finds a way to escape, but his grandfather perished in an attempt. Meanwhile, at night, he trains his telescope on the West while she ventures out to paint scenes of great escapes on the wall. A secondary plot arises from Ada's work at a day care center; little Savas, from an underclass of Turkish immigrants, has disappeared after his mother was abused. Related in a swirling, second-person stream of consciousness that mimics the free-flowing colors of her nighttime art, Ada's and Stefan's alternating present-tense narratives offer a point/counterpoint on the need for escape but its daunting peril. Their story is at once compelling and challenging, perhaps limiting this book to an audience of sophisticated readers. The plight of young Savas adds depth, but its tragic outcome is muted by the building suspense of Stefan's evolving plan. While this gripping effort captures the full flavor of a trying time in an onerous place, many readers will find it hard going. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2014

    Gr 8 Up-Stefan and Ada love each other, but they can only see each other four times a year. That is how often Ada and her grandmother can cross the border into East Berlin to visit the matriarch's best friend, Stefan's grandmother. As time passes, Ada obsesses about people who have escaped to freedom, but Stefan worries about those who tried and failed. He spends his days looking through his grandfather's telescope at the world around him, while Ada spends her nights creating graffiti artwork on her side of the Berlin Wall. While much of this story is focused on the teens and whether they can be together, other characters on both sides of the wall also get their own moments to shine. One of Kephart's strengths is her ability to immerse readers in 1980s Berlin, a time period that does not receive a lot of attention in most history textbooks. One subplot involves the plight of Turkish immigrants in West Berlin, and Ada becomes involved with trying to save a preschooler in her care from an abusive home. Kephart also uses plenty of sensual language to help readers feel the characters' aches and pains and to smell the smoke, dill, baked wool, and leather. This is an excellent example of historical fiction focusing on an unusual time period, and the author's note and selected sources list will be useful for readers who want to learn more about what it was like to live on either side of the Berlin Wall.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library

    Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Chronicle Books LLC
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