THE TURNING by Gloria Whelan

THE TURNING

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Tanya, 16 years old in 1991 and a principal dancer with Leningrad’s Kirov Ballet, is both a witness to the events of a dramatic summer and a participant in Russia’s fledgling steps toward democracy. Though the events of this story begin just after the Vilnius massacre in Lithuania, Tanya’s focus is on the Ballet’s upcoming visit to Paris, and on her own tentative plans to defect while there. Rising political tensions are felt in her family’s daily discussions of events. The company’s stay in Moscow, en route to Paris, gives Tanya an opportunity to convey important information from her grandfather (Georgi, the hero of Whelan’s earlier Russian novels) to an official in the Kremlin. While there, she is caught up in the events of the August 19th attempted coup. Whelan deftly covers a lot of territory swiftly and a bit breathlessly, from a look at daily life in the late 20th-century USSR with its ubiquitous poverty and corruption, to a peek at momentous historical events (both Rostropovich and Yevtushenko make an appearance during the siege on the Kremlin) as nearly a century of Soviet hegemony and communism in Russia unravels. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-075593-8
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2006




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