Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Breaking Stalin's Nose

"The Young Pioneer is devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism."

Sasha has always wanted to be a Young Pioneer.  It's what all good communist children strive for.  Sasha's dad is a decorated officer in the State Security - a secret agent who Stalin once called an iron broom purging the vermin from our midst.  Sasha worships Stalin and pities those who don't live in the great U.S.S.R.

Breaking Stalin's Nose is the captivating story of a young boy whose world turns upside down when his father is arrested as an enemy of the Communist party.  With no place to go and no one to turn to, Sasha tries to go on as if nothing has happened, convinced his father will be released once Comrade Stalin realizes the mistake.  All too quickly Sasha must face the reality that his heroes are not what he thought they were - including his father.

Eugene Yelchin is the writer and illustrator of picture books.  Breaking Stalin's Nose is his first novel.  The story takes place over two days, but captures the realities of the thirty year reign of Joseph Stalin.  As an illustrator, Yelchin is able to portray the characters, their personalities, and life in the Soviet Union in stunning black and white pictures.

Breaking Stalin's Nose is a must-read, historical fiction book for middle grades readers.

Blog you later!

Ali B.


Katie DeKoster said...

Wow - so many interesting aspects to this one! The 2 day timeline, his father's "secret life," the illustrations... This review seriously made me want to go grab Breaking Stalin's Nose!

Charlotte said...

Oh goodness, I wish I had more time to read! This one has been Looking at me for ages...