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Breaking Stalin's Nose

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Excerpt

Breaking Stalin's Nose

1
MY DAD IS A HERO and a Communist and, more than anything, I want to be like him. I can never be like Comrade Stalin, of course. He's our great Leader and Teacher.
The voice on the radio says, "Soviet people, follow our great Leader and Teacher--the beloved Stalin--forward and ever forward to Communism! Stalin is our banner! Stalin is our future! Stalin is our happiness!" Then a song comes on, "A Bright Future Is Open to Us." I know every word, and, singing along, I take out a pencil and paper and start writing.
Dear Comrade stalin,
I want to thank you personally for my happy childhood. I am fortunate to live in the soviet Union, the most democratic and progressive country in the world. I have read how hard the lives of children are in the capitalist countries and I feel pity for all those who do not live in the USSR. They will never see their dreams come true.
My greatest dream has always been to join the Young soviet Pioneers--the most important step in becoming a real Communist like my dad. By the time I was one year old, my dad had taught me the Pioneers greeting. He would say, "Young Pioneer! Ready to fight for the cause of the Communist Party and Comrade stalin?" In response, I would raise my hand in the Pioneers salute.
Of course, I couldn't reply "Always ready!" like the real Pioneers do; I couldn't talk yet. But I'm old enough now and my dream is becoming a reality. Tomorrow at my school's Pioneers rally, I will finally become a Pioneer.
It's not possible to be a true Pioneer without training one's character in the stalinist spirit .
I solemnly promise to make myself strong from physical exercise, to forge my Communist character, and always to be vigilant, because our capitalist enemies are never asleep. I will not rest until I am truly useful to my beloved soviet land and to you personally, dear Comrade stalin. Thank you for giving me such a wonderful opportunity.
Forever yours, sasha Zaichik, Moscow Elementary chool #37
When I imagine Comrade Stalin reading my letter, I get so excited that I can't sit still. I rise up and march like a Pioneer around the room, then head to the kitchen to wait for my dad.
Copyright © 2011 by Eugene Yelchin

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805092165
Author:
Yelchin, Eugene
Publisher:
Square Fish
Subject:
Children s-General
Subject:
Boys / Men
Subject:
Family - Parents
Subject:
Historical - United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Historical - Europe
Subject:
People & Places - Europe
Subject:
Children s-Historical Fiction-Europe
Edition Description:
Middle-Grade Fiction
Publication Date:
20131015
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
from 4 up to 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Black-and-white illustrations
Pages:
176
Dimensions:
7 x 5.5 in
Age Level:
from 9 up to 12

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Related Subjects


Children's » Awards » Newbery Award Winners
Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction » Europe
Children's » Middle Readers » General
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Young Adult » Fiction » Newbery Award Winners

Breaking Stalin's Nose Used Hardcover
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$15.99 In Stock
Product details 176 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805092165 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Picture book author/illustrator Yelchin (Won Ton) makes an impressive middle-grade debut with this compact novel about a devoted young Communist in Stalin-era Russia, illustrated with dramatically lit spot art. Ten-year-old Sasha lives with his father, a State Security secret policeman whom he worships (almost as much as he worships Stalin), and 46 others in a communal apartment. The story opens on the eve of the fulfillment of Sasha's dream — to become a Young Soviet Pioneer — and traces the downward spiral of the following 24 hours, as he resists his growing understanding that his beloved Communist state is far from ideal. Through Sasha's fresh and optimistic voice, Yelchin powerfully renders an atmosphere of fear that forces false confessions, even among schoolchildren, and encourages neighbors and family members to betray one another without evidence. Readers will quickly pick up on the dichotomy between Sasha's ardent beliefs and the reality of life under Stalinism, and be glad for his ultimate disillusion, even as they worry for his future. An author's note concisely presents the chilling historical background and personal connection that underlie the story. Ages 9 — 12. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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