Review of The Wall in the Middle of the Book

The Wall in the Middle of the Book

by Jon Agee; illus. by the author

Preschool     Dial     48 pp.

10/18     978-0-525-55545-2     $17.99

Unlike Richard Byrne’s This Book Just Ate My Dog! (rev. 1/15), wherein the book’s gutter did service as a chasm to be negotiated by the characters, here it is a wall separating an idyllic — ha! — existence for a young knight from an ogre and his jungle companions. They don’t look so bad, which proves to be a good thing for the knight when his side of the wall begins to flood and the ogre reaches over and rescues him. It’s a solid wall, thank goodness, if a slim premise; the humor comes from our ability to see both sides of the wall at once, as well as the floodwaters (filled with voracious sea creatures) rising on our oblivious hero. Lightly toned watercolor illustrations with plenty of white space keep things upbeat, emphasizing the dramatic and comic possibilities to be found in a pair of eyes. The book is too funny to fall into allegory: that wall never does come down, but our little protagonist is in for a wonderful new life.

From the November/December 2018 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton
Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Stay Connected. Join our devoted community of librarians, educators, and parents in the world of children’s and young adult literature.