In the glorious springtime of 1941 Leningrad seems as though it will always be bright. And then, on June 22nd, Germany turns its forces against its old friend, and all at once Russia is at war. As the enemy army draws closer, winter approaches, and with it will come a darkness and hunger that will stalk the once-luminous city.
At fourteen, Georgi is too young to join the army. Still, he is determined to do something -- anything -- to help his family, and his city, through this terrifying time.
In this companion novel to her breathtaking Russian epics angel on the square and the impossible journey, National Book Award-winning author Gloria Whelan transports readers to a gripping and treacherous time in Russian history and illuminates the power of one brave young man who, by taking action, will bring light to a city under siege.
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Gloria Whelan is the bestselling author of many novels for young readers, including Homeless Bird, winner of the National Book Award, and Listening for Lions. She lives in northern Michigan.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-8–Haunting images and elegant prose make this companion to The Impossible Journey (2003) and Angel on the Square (2001, both HarperCollins) memorable. Fourteen-year-old Georgi; his sister, Marya; and their mother live in a tiny apartment in Leningrad in 1941. As news of the advancing German army reaches the city, the residents prepare for war. Georgi, too young to join the Russian army, volunteers wherever he can. Marya works at the Hermitage museum, where she helps pack up the magnificent artwork to be shipped away for safe storage. As the German army moves closer and begins bombing, the city is cut off from outside help. Starvation sets in, and the citizens struggle to survive. Georgi, his family, and their neighbors keep hope alive by focusing on the beauty in the world, from a chocolate bar to a Shostakovich symphony. The lilting writing style and simple dignity of the characters help construct an honest portrait of everyday life in extraordinary circumstances. From the renowned poet Anna Akhmatova reading her work on the radio to the first bloom of spring flowers, the people cling to visions of light. The plot moves quickly, but the bleak details of war are not spared. The staunch determination of the human spirit will linger with readers long after the last page is turned.–Kristen Oravec, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060541121
Book Description HarperCollins, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060541121
Book Description HarperCollins, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060541121