FOUR STEPS TO DEATH by John Wilson

FOUR STEPS TO DEATH

Age Range: 10 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A million people were killed in the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942, one of the worst battles in history, and the intertwined stories of three people, each told in third person, offer a human-scale account of the cataclysm. Conrad Zeitsler is a tall, aristocratic German tank officer who’s confident of finishing off the Russians and being on the Volga River by August. Vasily Sarayev is a Russian soldier hoping to be a hero. And eight-year-old Sergei Illyich Andropov is caught in the middle. As in Wilson’s previous Battle Scars (2005), plot contrivances, forced coincidences and a predictable ending undermine the telling. Much history of the battle and of Stalinist Russia is related, but too much of the dialogue exists to convey information rather than further the story. The maps provided are helpful, but no sources are listed that might lead young readers further. Since little exists on the subject, however, this will be a start. (afterword) (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-55337-704-4
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Kids Can
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2005




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