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Breaking Stalin抯 Nose

by Eugene Yelchin

Published by Henry Holt, 2011
151 pages
ISBN: trade 978𢠪050-92165

Ages 9-12

Growing up in Moscow in the mid-twentieth century, ten-year-old Sasha worships Joseph Stalin and can抰 wait to take the oath as a Young Pioneer. His father is a member of the secret police, and for the two of them life is good. But everything changes over a two-day period after his father is arrested and friends, neighbors, and even family members turn on Sasha. Initially, he is certain that his father抯 arrest has been a mistake, but as the day wears on he gets glimpses of a capricious, cruel government he never knew existed; and it抯 one in which his father played a part prior to his downfall. When Sasha himself accidentally breaks the nose off of a statue of Stalin in his school corridor, he sees two of his innocent classmates accused, furthering his sudden awakening to the reality of Stalin抯 oppressive regime. Expressive line drawings by the author enhance the sense of time and place of this chilling, fast-paced novel.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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