HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Talking Walls: Discover Your World
Author: Margy Burns Knight
Illustrator: Anne Sibley O’Brien
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers, combined and updated edition published in 2014
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 8-12
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Knight, Margy Burns. Talking Walls: Discover Your World (originally published as two books, Talking Walls in 1992 and Talking Walls: The Stories Continue in 1996; combined and updated edition published in 2014 by Tilbury House Publishers, 12 Starr St., Thomaston, ME 04861). Have you ever heard the old observation, “What if the walls could talk!”? A wall may not literally be able to speak, but the fact is that there are a lot of things which walls can reveal to us, especially ones like the Great Wall of China, the Lascaux Cave walls in France, Hadrian’s Wall in England, the Great Zimbabwe walls in southern Africa, the Western or Wailing Wall of Jerusalem, the Holocaust Memorial Wall in Poland, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC, and the Berlin Wall of Germany, among many others. What can we learn from studying about these walls?
In 1992 author Margy Burns Knight wrote a book, Talking Walls, about different famous walls and what they tell us, after hearing poet Doug Rawlings read his poem “The Wall” about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. A companion volume, Talking Walls: The Stories Continue, with additional stories, followed in 1996. Together, these titles have sold more than 170,000 copies. This new edition, Talking Walls: Discover Your World, combines and updates the two earlier books, with stories about 26 walls in all. Margy thoroughly revised the text for maximum read-aloud effectiveness and accessibility to English language learners. The back of the book contains additional information about the walls and a world map that identifies their locations. Hearing or reading the stories and looking at the gorgeous illustrations by Anne Sibley O’Brien can open many discussions with youngsters about history, geography, and culture.