Monday, April 2, 2012

Bibliophile's Corner

Breaking Stalin's Nose
by Eugene Yelchin

Flap Copy description:
The Ten-Year-Old Sasha Zaichik
has known the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers since the age of six.

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

A Young Pioneer is a reliable
comrade and always acts
according to his conscience.

A Young Pioneer has a right
to criticize shortcomings.

But now that it is finally time to join the Young Pioneers, the day Sasha has awaited for so long, everything seems to go awry. Is it possible that everything he knows about the Soviet government is a lie?

My thoughts:
Words like poignant and powerful are usually reserved for adult novels; however, they do describe this 2012 Newbery Honor Award winning book - Breaking Stalin's Nose. The author, Eugene Yelchin, was born and educated in the former Soviet Union. His own extraordinary personal experiences prior to immigrating to the United States have inspired a thought-provoking story - one that reminds us that sometimes "innocent people face persecution and death for making a choice about what they believe to be right." Eugene Yelchin.
I would definitely recommend this book to readers from the ages of 8 - 12.

To learn more about the author, Eugene Yelchin, click here:


  1. This one sounds like a very thoughtful read, with lots of lessons and history for the young reader.

  2. Interesting book. I'll check it out. Thanks for the review.

  3. Both adult and younger readers can benefit from reading this novel, it seems. Lots of history. I've heard of such youth groups in Germany during WWII, but I didn't know about the Soviet Young Pioneers.

  4. Sounds interesting. I've been meaning to check this one out. :)

  5. Thanks, ladies. This book is truly moving - especially for middle grade.

  6. Thanks for the review, Victoria. I'll definitely be checking it out.