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Breaking Stalin's Nose

Breaking Stalin's Nose

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Breaking Stalin's Nose

évaluations:
4/5 (31 évaluations)
Longueur:
98 pages
56 minutes
Sortie:
Sep 27, 2011
ISBN:
9781429949958
Format:
Livre

Description

A Newbery Honor Book.

Sasha Zaichik has known the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers since the age of six:
The Young Pioneer is devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism.
A Young Pioneer is a reliable comrade and always acts according to 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. He breaks a classmate's glasses with a snowball. He accidentally damages a bust of Stalin in the school hallway. And worst of all, his father, the best Communist he knows, was arrested just last night.

This moving story of a ten-year-old boy's world shattering is masterful in its simplicity, powerful in its message, and heartbreaking in its plausibility.

One of Horn Book's Best Fiction Books of 2011

Sortie:
Sep 27, 2011
ISBN:
9781429949958
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Eugene Yelchin is the author and illustrator of The Haunting of Falcon House, Arcady's Goal, and the Newbery Honor Book Breaking Stalin's Nose. He has also illustrated several books for children, including Crybaby, Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?, and Won Ton. He lives in California with his wife and children.

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Aperçu du livre

Breaking Stalin's Nose - Eugene Yelchin

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 school #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.

2

IT’S DINNERTIME, so the kitchen is crowded. Forty-eight hardworking, honest Soviet citizens share the kitchen and single small toilet in our communal apartment we call komunalka for short. We live here as one large, happy family: We are all equal; we have no secrets. We know who gets up at what time, who eats what for dinner, and who said what in their rooms. The walls are thin; some don’t go up to the ceiling. We even have a room cleverly divided with shelves of books about Stalin that two families can share.

Stalin says that sharing our living space teaches us to think as Communist WE instead of capitalist I. We agree. In the morning, we often sing patriotic songs together when we line up for the toilet.

3

OUR NEIGHBOR Marfa Ivanovna gives me a treat—a carrot. I take the carrot to the kitchen window, climb a warm radiator, and look down into the courtyard to see if my dad is coming. Sometimes he doesn’t come home till morning. That is because he works in the State Security on Lubyanka Square.

The State Security is our secret police, and their job is to unmask the disguised enemies infiltrating our borders. My dad is one of their best. Comrade Stalin personally pinned the order of the Red Banner on his chest and called him an iron broom purging the vermin from our midst.

I take small bites of the carrot to make it last; the carrot is delicious. When hunger gnaws inside my belly, I tell myself that a future Pioneer has to repress cravings for such unimportant matters as food. Communism is just over the horizon; soon there will be plenty of food for everyone. But still, it’s good to have something tasty to eat now and then. I wonder what it’s like in the capitalist countries. I wouldn’t be surprised if children there had never even tasted a

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31 évaluations / 33 Avis
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Avis des lecteurs

  • (4/5)
    This was a very interesting novel about the Stanlinistic era in Russia. As seen over two days, from a young boy's eyes who learns that Communism may not be as great as he was taught.
  • (4/5)
    Very well done historical fiction. Would be an excellent read aloud in the upper grades even though reading level and format ( great illustrations) make it seem younger.
    This book would generate so much class discussion and I think will stay in the reader's mind for a very long time. The fact that it is based on author experience makes it even more relevant.
  • (4/5)
    Imagine sharing a house with eight other families. Imagine sharing one bathroom. Imagine thinking a carrot was a treat. Imagine thinking that this was as good as it could be.This is life for ten-year-old Sasha, who is growing up in Communist Russia. It is all he has ever known, and all he has ever wanted. As the day comes for him to join the Young Pioneers and start his communist duty, he begins to realize that Communism might not be as wonderful as he has been told it is.Holy brainwashed Batman! This book was a good reminder as an adult of what we have, it would certainly open the eyes of young readers to other ways of life.
  • (5/5)
    Ten-year old Sasha Zaichik, an aspiring Communist who hopes to emulate his father, a State Security officer, writes a letter to Stalin, saying "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." Events that unfold in the next 48 hours cause Sasha to question his beliefs, his values and his future. Through words and striking pencil-and-ink illustrations, Eugene Yelchin has created a convincing portrait of life in early Communist USSR. Without being didactic, Yelchin has created a cautionary tale depicting the dangers of accepting something without thinking, and of a state where people are no longer allowed to question.
  • (4/5)
    This is a very powerful book about the Communist reign of terror that is seldom mentioned from a child's perspective. This was a Newbery honor book for 2012 and rightly deserves its recognition. While this is presented as a children's book I would be hesitant to let anyone under 12 years of age read this book. It deals with a very heavy subject matter that younger readers may not fully understand or might be upset by. It would make a great group discussion book so that children can ask questions about some of the more disturbing topics presented. This book also does not have a typical ending. It ends leaving more questions than answers. Sasha is a 10 year old boy who's entire world revolves around being the best Community he can be. His father is a high ranking official and will be presenting the scarfs for the Young Pioneers which Sasha will soon be joining. However, in a cruel twist of fate his father is arrested and Sasha's world falls apart. Will he maintain his strong Communist beliefs or will he see the regime for what it truly is?Sasha's naivety is written very well and is believable considering what he has been told from a very young age. I highly recommend this book to readers 12 and up so they can get a sense of what happened during this time period. However, I would also recommend that younger students or students that are more sensitive read this with an adult or in a group.
  • (3/5)
    I picked up this book because I thought it looked very interesting, not till after I picked it up did I see that it was a children?s book. I looked through a few pages and thought it to myself that this could be a good book so I checked it out. The author introduces the story very well and gives great descriptions of each seen throughout which is also detailed very well in the pictures that are drawn on some pages. The book travels through a few days in the life of a young man in Communist Russia during the Stalin Regime. The book is almost overbearing in how brainwashed these people are about communism and freedom, especially the younger generations. The young man always is talking about Stalin and how he must show him great appreciation and such, which is what it must have been like during this time for the people of Russia. I love the pictures that are included and the storyline that this book follows, but after reading this, I don't really know if this is appropriate for children. The book mentions America a few times and says how we are wrong in our freedom and communism is constantly mentioned throughout the book, quite a tough idea for a younger child to grasp. If I were to make any changes, I make this a more detailed story and have more twists and turns and introduce it to a larger older audience. The book is a great book, but for the audience chosen, I don't see the fit.Chad P.
  • (5/5)
    A fantastic book for grade to middle school on the complexities of family, government, school, and trust during one of the most terrifying times in Russian history. Newbery honor book that is very deserving of this award. A short book with illustrations - perfect for reluctant readers.
  • (4/5)
    Great story about a young boy's disillusionment with Stalin's violently oppressive regime in the Soviet Union. The age group this book is written for will need historical context to fully appreciate the story but it is well-suited for reading aloud and group discussion. In an afterward, the author discusses his own experience growing up in the Soviet Union.
  • (5/5)
    This small, quick-to-read book packs a powerful punch. Ten-year-old Sasha lives in the USSR during Stalin's reign, and he is excited to become a Young Pioneer. He is tremendously proud that his father is a member of the State Security who keeps the Soviet Union safe from spies and enemies of the state. But then things quickly go very wrong. His father is dragged away himself by State Security in the middle of the night with no explanation. Things worsen the next day at school, and Sasha begins to lose hope that the authorities will realize they've taken his father mistakenly and free him. It is moving to see Sasha's devoted faith in Stalin and his teachings slowly begin to waver, then crumble.
  • (3/5)
    What I liked about this was the presentation of Soviet life through the eyes of an innocent, slightly brainwashed boy. I think Yelchin effectively demonstrates aspects of what it was like to live in Communist Russia--how they were taught to suspect everyone, the poor living conditions, the constant disappearance of supposed "enemies," the betrayals, etc.
  • (4/5)
    My favorite quote from the author's note:
    "I set this story in the past, but the main issue in it transcends time and place. To this day, there are places in the world where innocent people face persecution and death for making a choice about what they believe to be right."
  • (4/5)
    Kids don't need to know about the Communist Party or the history of the USSR in order to understand the impact of repressive leadership. Childlike, stark and unforgettable. This book is ripe for inspiring book group discussion.
  • (5/5)
    Intense, with marvelous art that makes it even more so. Do not read this at bedtime - I had nightmares. Be careful about which children you recommend it to - some are not ready for the themes, even if they are generally reading beyond 'illustrated early chapter' books.

    The most important thing to realize is that the story is true. I don't know about these *exact* details and characters, but as the author notes, for those of us who have not learned history, this kind of thing happened *twenty million* times. Look at that number. Hitler, by the numbers, was less than 1/3 as evil as Stalin. Russia is still suffering the ramifications of the terror, the tyranny, the poverty, the propaganda that made people deny their souls.

    I was hoping, from the title and from the fact that it is a children's book, that the child had broken a statue's nose in a small act of defiance. Boy was I wrong. And if I'd remembered my history classes better, I'd have realized the impossibility of that.

    Read this (but not at bedtime), and share it with every child you know (as soon as they are ready for it).
  • (3/5)
    In the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, ten-year-old Sasha idolizes his father, a devoted Communist, but when police take his father away and leave Sasha homeless, he is forced to examine his own perceptions, values, and beliefs.
  • (4/5)
    Grades 5-8: Sasha's idealistic view of Stalin's control over Russia changes drastically in the 24-hour period after his father is arrested as an enemy of the people. Velchin does not pull any punches in his stark examination of Communism through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy who has dreamed throughout his childhood of becoming one of Stalin's Young Pioneers. Dramatic graphite illustrations, many full two-page spreads, underscore the sober tone of this eye-opening book. Yelchin's concluding note goes into more detail on his own childhood in the post-Stalin Russia of the 1960s.
  • (4/5)
    Breaking Stalin's Nose is an historical fiction novel that takes place in Soviet Russia. Sasha Zaichik dreams of becoming a Young Pioneer and leading the crusade to spread communism to the world. His faith in communism begins cracking when his father, who he idolizes, is arrested as an enemy of the state. He is terrified that his classmates will find out and he will become a bad egg. How will Zaichik reconcile his new reality with his love of Stalin and communism?This was a phenomenal book. It was a very fast read with some fantastic illustrations. They had a lot of personality. It provides a perspective on communism that is definitely underrepresented in American schooling. It also devillainizes Russian civilians. It's a great historical read and would compliment a social studies course well. It's appropriate for readers 6th grade and up.
  • (4/5)
    "Breaking Stalin's Nose" was an interesting book to read. The book is about a young boy, Sasha Zaichik, who lives in Russia during Stalin's rule. After dreaming of joining the Soviet Young Pioneers, his dad is taken from him and Sasha has to learn that Stalin and Soviet Russia is not what he thought it to be. The story is very fast-paced and it only covers a three day period, which was surprising to me because I thought it may cover at least 6 months or more. The chapters are short with illustrations included several pages in a row. That is one thing I disliked about the story; as you are reading the sentence is interrupted by pages of pictures and then the sentence is completed once the illustration pages have ended. I believe this was intended to bring to life the overbearing lifestyle of Soviet Russia and how Sasha must have been feeling at this time. After finishing this book, the message I took away was that you cannot always believe what people tell you, sometimes you have to find your own answers and beliefs on your own.
  • (3/5)
    I always think that books are supposed to make you feel things and this book definitely made me feel a barrage of different emotions. Sasha is a good communist. He wants nothing more then to become a pioneer but the night before the ceremony the police come to arrest his father. Sasha believes that it's an error however from that point on everything seems to wrong for him.

    At first I enjoyed the book but felt bad for Sasha. He just seemed so clueless. As the book wore on I just started to dread it. Horrible things were happening and it was just so hard to listen to (I probably wasn't having the right type of day for this either.) I did like the ending, I think I needed nothing horrible to happen to this kid and even with the horror and fear to see that there were still good people.

    The author's informational note was very important I think. It helped to put things into a context and I think that it is important for readers to understand that these things happened. People had to deal with things like this and their outcomes.
  • (4/5)
    Sasha is 10 years old and is devoted to Joseph Stalin who ruled the Soviet Union through fear and brutality between 1923 and 1953, Stalin’s State Security was responsible for exiling, executing or imprisoning 20 million people. At the beginning of the book Sasha writes an adoring letters to Comrade Stalin expressing his eagerness at becoming a Young Pioneer. The abrupt jailing of his father has been causes Sasha reevaluate his beloved county and leader. Will stylized illustration, this first personal short story gives kids a deep understanding of life in a totalitarian state and how it corrupts the integrity and morality of its people.
  • (5/5)
    Sasha Zaichik is the son of a Communist hero, and he wants to be just like his father. The night before Sasha is to join the Young Pioneers (the USSR's youth movement; kind of like a cross between the Boy Scouts and the Hitler Youth), Sasha writes an adoring letter to Stalin, professing his allegiance to the Communist cause. Just hours later, Sasha's father is arrested and taken away. Sasha is bewildered, but sure it is a mistake that will soon be rectified -- after all, Stalin himself once commended Sasha's father's service. As Sasha attends school the next day, his teacher and classmates continue to treat him like the son of a hero, as they have always done . . . until word of his father's arrest gets out. Suddenly, Sasha is an outcast. From his new position in the back of the classroom, he suddenly starts to see all sorts of things that he had been missing before. Will Sasha still be able to join the Young Pioneers? Will he even want to do so?This is a great, thought-provoking read. I mean to go back and reread it some time in the next few days, in fact. It's deceptively brief -- I finished it in a few hours -- but it's the sort of book that sticks with you for days after you read it. I'm still not sure what a child Sasha's age (one who doesn't have any memory of the Iron Curtain or the Cold War, and who doesn't have a clear understanding, perhaps, of who Stalin is and what he did during his regime) would make of this book, but I'm pretty sure that, like Sasha, they would soon start to see the evils inherent in the system.
  • (4/5)
    This quick read is deceptively simple, yet engages the reader with a story told from the point of view of ten-year old Sasha Zaichik about life in Stalin’s USSR. Sasha is very proud of his father, who holds a position of power as a mid-level State Security agent whose job it is to expose spies among ordinary citizens. The first sentence “My dad is a hero and a Communist, and more than anything, I want to be like him” captures the authentic voice of a proud young son, who is about to be named a Young Pioneer in his Moscow elementary school. There are complications when his father is unceremoniously rounded up by his co-worker comrades and taken off to the local prison. Sasha is forced to leave their apartment they share with dozens of others and is essentially without a home as he avoids being taken off to an orphanage.The author, who has illustrated many children’s books, supplements his first novel with fine, detailed pencil drawings that evoke the intimidation and bleakness of this period in Russian history. The people are reminiscent of characters found in Russian Expressionistic art, and effectively compliment the unnerving descriptions of a time and a place where the truth was an inconvenience that rarely superseded the expediency of making an arrest. Target audience is 5th grade through middle school. Unfortunately, most students have little or no knowledge of Josef Stalin and the millions of people he ordered murdered, so the challenge is for English or history teachers to give students background information so that students can understand how realistically this book captures the Stalinist period. The Author’s Note at the end provides information about Yelchin’s experiences in the Soviet Union, where he lived until the age of 27 when he came to the U.S.Yelchin, E. (2011). Breaking Stalin's nose. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
  • (5/5)
    How an innocent book learns about believing in something doesn't always make it right.
  • (4/5)
    Recommend this book to reluctant readers looking for historical fiction for school. The adults are all horrible and scary (until the very end of the book when we finally meet an adult we can like). Even though it's historical fiction, it's unbelievable enough to appeal to kids who enjoyed The Giver by Lois Lowry. There are some interesting illustrations that help set the mood.
  • (3/5)
    Summary I chose Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin. This story is about a boy named Sasha Zaichik who is 10 years old and he lives in Moscow. His father works for the Soviet secret police and is a communist. Sasha believes everything he has been told about communism; he treats state property as sacred, he shuns personal property, he loves Comrade Stalin, and he cannot wait to become a Young Pioneer. He and his father live in a room in a komunalka, a communal apartment, with 46 other people, who keep their distance from Sasha’s father at a time when people are informing on one another and living in fear of being arrested.Personal This book was a great chapter book and made me emotional at times. It is a short but powerful book that introduces middle-grade readers to the communist Soviet Union through the eyes of a young boy who has been taught that communism is the right way and that the capitalistic society of the United States is wrong. Eating a carrot is a luxury to Sasha, but he thinks he is lucky, believing that American children probably have never had something as wonderful as a carrot. It is heartbreaking to watch his world come crumbling down because he has no idea of the real worldExtention Idea This book would be great for middle-grade readers.The teachers could use it in the classroom during discussion over the Soviet Union.
  • (3/5)
    The story and the events take place over two days, which is very neat. Because stories don't have to take over the course of years or a day. Sasha is a ten year old boy living with his father in former USSR. His father works for the communist government and the "idealized" leader Joseph Stalin. Sasha wants nothing more than to become the best young pioneer (younger ROTC). His father is dragged away by military and Sasha fends for himself overnight and hopes the political system that he trusts will return his father. He is shun by family and neighbors because the implications revolving around his father. At school he does not reveal the event and he faces more problems in his class with peers and teacher.The story is told from the perspective of Sasha and its during winter and he never met mother. Have a different perspective to American and the Democratic system. The characters are constantly worried about being seen as traitors to the country. There are some great illustrations, enough to help with visual but not enough for picture book. I could see this book done in a literary circle.These and other topics for discussion.........freedom, communism, beliefs, prison, jail, Kremlin, government and single parents
  • (5/5)
    This book is about a Russian boy who realizes, quite suddenly, that Stalin’s utopic government is not what he has been raised to believe. I like this book for three reasons. First, I like how Velchin makes the plot suspenseful, leaving the reader guessing as to what is going to happen from the moment Sasha’s father is taken away by the secret police. At one point Sasha learns that Vovka, an outcast, knows that he broke the nose off of a statue of Stalin in the school hallway, an offense that could keep Sasha out of the Young Pioneers, the Russian equivalent of Hitler’s Youth. Many moments in the text afterward revisit this predicament, toying with, but not resolving it. I also like how the characters are believable. When Sasha’s father is first taken away, the man who turned him in, Stukachov, wastes no time moving his family into Sasha and his father’s coveted room. This speaks to how low some people can sink in order to improve their position in life. Finally, I like how this book pushes readers to think about the realities of government oppression. At the beginning of the story, Sasha is a steadfast, optimistic patriot of Stalin’s government. But, as he begins to recognize the realities of what is happening to people, including his father, at the hands of the government, he soon denounces his willingness to become a Young Pioneer.
  • (5/5)
    Breaking Stalin’s Nose is a historical fiction book that goes through the life of a child who lives in Russia. This book captivates the reader’s attention with the words and the pictures on some pages. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I did not think I was going to. I was nervous I would not like this book because I do not like history. I fully thought this book would be like a history book but it was actually about a child’s life and not just facts. One thing I did not like about this book was that the pictures would cut in the middle of a sentence. For example, on page 67 “I’m riding atop a parade” and then there are 3 full pages of pictures before the sentence ends. I did not like this because it made it difficult for me to remember what the sentence said and look at the pictures. If I read the whole sentence and then I would forget to look back at the picture. I think the main idea of this book is to stand up for what you believe in and to never give up.
  • (4/5)
    “Breaking Stalin’s Nose” is a very good book. I enjoyed reading this because of the exciting plot. Sasha, a 10 year old boy, is a victim of propaganda which has made him idolize communism and their USSR “Leader and Teacher,” Stalin. The beginning of the story immediately shows the cruelty of the communist government when they dragged Sasha’s beloved and "faithful" father from his home. This turned Sasha’s world upside down and things only got worse as the day went on when Sasha accidentally breaks the nose off of the Stalin statue at school. Considering this is a serious crime in the USSR Sasha fears what may happen to him if anyone finds out he is to blame. This is the climax of the story and he faces tough decisions and the harsh reality that his father is not as honorable as he thought. Sasha is coming to grips with the unjust murder and hateful discrimination that surrounds him. Finally the time has come for all of the students to devote their commitment to communism however, Shasha says, “I don’t want to be a pioneer.” I also enjoyed getting the perspective of a child in this time period because it proves that even the innocent are not safe from the harsh treatment. For example, the student’s teacher said to a Jewish student, “Stop rocking back and forth, Finkelstein. You’re not in a synagogue.” This prejudice statement was used to slander and belittle the student in front of all of his peers. There is a lot of tension throughout this book but it is enough to show the reader what living in the USSR was like during the time period, which is the most important aspect of this book.
  • (4/5)
    This book takes place somewhere during the 1950’s in the former Soviet Union. Sasha Zaichik is a 10 year-old boy who has wanted to belong to the Soviet Young Pioneers for as long as he could remember. He is devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism. The night before Sasha will become a Pioneer however, his father, a Soviet Police officer, is arrested for being an enemy to the people. This leaves Sasha homeless and an orphan. He goes to school the next day and after a series of unfortunate events, ends up knocking into a statue of Comrade Stalin, breaking off it’s nose. This was the turning point of the story when Sasha begins to be seen in school as a traitor, and decides that he no longer believes in the Communist Party, and does not want to become a Young Pioneer. The book ends with Sasha fleeing his school and going to prison to wait on a line to visit his Dad. I really enjoyed this book because I did not know much about how communism directly affected people during the time Stalin reigned, especially children. It was so interesting to see a child so devoted to such a harsh government, and how the schools placed such an emphasis on the leader. I was also intrigued to see how easily people were brainwashed by Stalin during this time period, and saddened to see how many families were destroyed during the 1950’s. I loved that the book included illustrations on some of its pages, because I’ve never seen that done with a chapter book. I think that the main idea of the book is to not be afraid to go against the grain and fight for what you believe in.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed reading Breaking Stain’s Nose because it gave me a look into the life of a child in the Soviet Union, which I did not know much about before. The main character, Sasha, takes the reader on a quick journey of how corrupt the Soviet Union is. In the story, Sasha finds out that his father turned in his mother as a spy and his father was also arrested, presumably because his neighbor, Stukachov turned him in to take his room. I had known the Soviet Union was corrupt but I did not realize how easily someone could be thrown into jail basically by anyone’s request. Another thing I liked about the story was the illustrations. Not all chapter books have pictures so it was nice to read one that did because it breaks up the reading for someone like me, who is not the most focused reader. There are not a lot of pictures but the ones in the story help set the scene well. For example, Stukachov, who presumably turned in Sasha’s father, was drawn with a very maniacal face when he was moving his family into Sasha’s old apartment and informed Sasha that his father was arrested. The main idea of the story was to show people what it is like living in the Soviet Union. The author, Eugene Yelchin, was born in the Soviet Union so he is a great resource and the story allows people to see the difference between the American culture we live in and the harsh Soviet Union culture.