Before putting together this readable and reliable book, the author wrote to schools across the country asking what boys and girls knew about Russia and what they'd like to know. Each chapter begins with questions and statements from children received in reply to the survey. Adult working with children will be particularly interested in this aspect of the book. Most of the questions are sharp and reveal a real desire to know; many of the statements children made about Soviet affairs seem stunningly stupid, until you remember the impossible cross-confusions of information, chauvinism and political ranting children are exposed to on TV, the radio and what they overhear adults discuss. One youngster asked for, ""the little details,"" and, within such broad subject areas as Russian history, politics and industry, these are what Mr. Appel provides while clearing away the rubble of Cold War myth and misinformation. It's the logical book to come to before Gerald Johnson's excellent Communism: An American's View. The short bibliography is given over to titles the author must have found helpful rather than to books primarily for this reading level.