Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet

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Slip behind the Iron Curtain into a world of smoke, secrets, and lies in this stunning novel where someone is always listening and nothing is as it seems.

Noah Keller has a pretty normal life, until one wild afternoon when his parents pick him up from school and head straight for the airport, telling him on the ride that his name isn’t really Noah and he didn’t really just turn eleven in March. And he can’t even ask them why — not because of his Astonishing Stutter, but because asking questions is against the newly instated rules. (Rule Number Two: Don’t talk about serious things indoors, because Rule Number One: They will always be listening). As Noah—now "Jonah Brown"—and his parents head behind the Iron Curtain into East Berlin, the rules and secrets begin to pile up so quickly that he can hardly keep track of the questions bubbling up inside him: Who, exactly, is listening — and why? When did his mother become fluent in so many languages? And what really happened to the parents of his only friend, Cloud-Claudia, the lonely girl who lives downstairs? In an intricately plotted novel full of espionage and intrigue, friendship and family, Anne Nesbet cracks history wide open and gets right to the heart of what it feels like to be an outsider in a world that’s impossible to understand.

About Anne Nesbet

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Anne Nesbet teaches Russian literature and the history of film at the University of California at Berkeley. She lives near San Francisco with her husband, several daughters, and one irrepressible dog. You can visit her online at
Published September 2, 2016 by Candlewick. 400 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Compelling stories of life in East Berlin, coming of age in a small town and budding romance are all tackled in these books for middle grade readers.

Oct 30 2016 | Read Full Review of Cloud and Wallfish

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