Knights and Knighthood--Fiction Toleration--Fiction Walls-Fiction (Grades K-3)

“Tear Down That Wall!” There’s a Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee

Once upon a time all the animals roamed all across the land,the kingdom of their own book, wherever they wanted to go. But then…

THERE WAS A WALL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK.

It was a strong, brick wall, and the large Gorilla and Rhino,Tiger and Crocodile, and Ogre with his club could not get over the tall wall.

On the other side a small knight smiled as, with trowel and mortar, he built the wall as tall as he could reach. And then he fetched a tall ladder and climbed up to add even more bricks to the top of his wall. He peered over the wall at the animals on the other side.

They were big and scary, and the crocodile appeared rather dangerous. But the little knight smiled a bigger smile…

THIS SIDE OF THE WALL IS SAFE.

But while the knight at the top of the tall ladder looks over at the other side, slowly but surely, his kingdom begins to fill with water. Unbeknownst to the little knight, the water level rises up toward his feet on the ladder.

Finally the little knight looks down.

“WAIT A SECOND! WHAT IS GOING ON?

“THIS IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE GOING ON ON THIS SIDE OF THE WALL!”

The tall wall that is supposed to protect his side is trapping him in the rising flood. Can the big animals help the Ogre reach over the wall for the necessary rescue? In this little tale of the perils of isolationism, of course they can, in John Agee’s funny modern fable, The Wall in the Middle of the Book (Dial Books, 2018). “Things are not always what they seem,” in author-illustrator Agee’s story of a widening world view, and his cartoon style illustrations tell the tale visually in his noted artistic style. Says Publishers Weekly, “As ever, Agee nails pacing and punch lines, making inventive use of the famous fourth wall as a literary device.”

Agee’s other noted works include Life on Mars and Lion Lessons (see review here).

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