Randall’s Wall by Carol Fenner is a book for upper elementary school students about a young boy who lives inside an invisible wall, which protects him from the cruelty of his classmates. The wall also helps him from focusing on his abusive father and frail mother, and his house that lacks running water for bathing or doing laundry. The wall allows him to spend his time drawing and dreaming about a different kind of life. Then he makes a friend and things begin to change.
This moving and powerful story raises many ethical questions about the differences that divide people from one another and the assumptions we make about one another, the nature of empathy and its role in ethical behavior, social inequalities and education, and the walls we all carry around inside of us.