In this somber companion to The Impossible Journey (2003) and Angel on the Square (2001), Whelan brings the horrific, 880-day Siege of Leningrad to life for young readers. From the moment 14-year-old Georgi Ivanova hears Germany has declared war on Russia, he wants nothing more than to enlist in the Russian army. Because he’s too young, he serves his country in every other way he can, including helping starving Russians by transporting food across frozen lakes in the dead of winter. Whelan describes the horrors of war relentlessly, as pages upon pages of atrocities unfold. Interspersed good news and small wartime miracles like a butterfly and a blooming flower, while a welcome respite, sometimes feel abrupt. Readers will cheer the selfless war efforts of Georgi and his family and their commitment to the importance of art in society. Georgi’s sister’s work to protect the treasures of the Hermitage from wartime destruction feels as urgent as Shostakovich’s heroic composition of the Leningrad Symphony. All in all, a vivid portrait of a country and a family under siege, and a testimony to human resilience. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-06-054112-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2004

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Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-689-82979-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1999

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A well-loved author brings together, on a Maine vacation, characters from two of her books. Peter's parents have assured him that though Sheila ("The Great") Tubman and her family will be nearby, they'll have their own house; but instead, they find a shared arrangement in which the two families become thoroughly intertwined—which suits everyone but the curmudgeonly Peter. Irrepressible little brother Fudge, now five, is planning to marry Sheila, who agrees to babysit with Peter's toddler sister; there's a romance between the grandparents in the two families; and the wholesome good fun, including a neighborhood baseball game featuring an aging celebrity player, seems more important than Sheila and Peter's halfhearted vendetta. The story's a bit tame (no controversies here), but often amusingly true to life and with enough comic episodes to satisfy fans.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1990

ISBN: 0-525-44672-9

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2000

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