Breaking Stalin's Nose

by Eugene Yelchin

Growing up in Moscow in the mid-twentieth century, ten-year-old Sasha worships Joseph... read more

Growing up in Moscow in the mid-twentieth century, ten-year-old Sasha worships Joseph Stalin and can’t 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’s 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’s 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’s oppressive regime. Expressive line drawings by the author enhance the sense of time and place of this chilling, fast-paced novel. (Ages 9–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2012

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