Red Stars

Red Stars
Age Range
Release Date
January 19, 2021
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This middle grade mystery adventure, told in a unique format including diary entries, maps and photos, takes readers along on the harrowing journeys of two twelve-year-old siblings, separated just before the Nazi siege of their city and each desperate to reunite with one another.

Twins Viktor and Nadya are twelve years old when Hitler's Germany declares war on the Soviet Union. With little notice, the city's children are evacuated on trains that are meant to take them to safety.

Shockingly, Viktor and Nadya are separated, and disaster befalls them both. As the terrible conflict rages, each embarks on a desperate race across snow and ice, struggling through the destruction in an effort to be reunited. Their chances are slim, but they never lose hope.

In an original format--using the kids' diary entries, with historical photos, maps, and drawings throughout, this fictionalized account of the Nazi siege of Leningrad during the Second World War, this heart-stopping story of danger, courage and bravery emphasizes the power of truth and what it means to be a hero.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
Red Stars
Overall rating
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What worked: Fascinating novel of twins who are separated when Hitler's troops invade Leningrad in 1941. Told in diary-style writing with intriguing maps and photos of that time. There are notes woven throughout from a Soviet investigator who highlights laws the twins broke and is determining their fate.

The dual POV gives insight into one of the most horrific battles in Russia during WWII. The twins' stories are similar to the horrors of war and come together at the end when they aren't believed due to their young age. Some examples include one of the twins mistakenly being taken to a gulag. The horrors he experiences are told in raw, brutal descriptions. Another is when Viktor is attacked by an old Russian woman and she cuts off three of his fingers with an ax. Mostly though it's the hunger, fear that is conveyed in a realistic way that is sure to stay with readers to the very last page.

The illustrations and maps add to the intensity of this historical novel. Mostly it's a story of courage to stand up for the truth even if it might mean death.

The only thing that took me out of an otherwise engaging tale had to be Colonel Valery Smirnov's notes on the laws Nadya and Viktor broke during their journey for survival. The notes are written in tiny red cursive.

Haunting, chilling portrayal of Russian twins separated in 1941 Leningrad right when Hitler's troop invade their country. Recommended for those who enjoy WWII stories.
Good Points
1. Fascinating diary-style novel of twins who survived Russia's Great Patriotic war of 1941
2. Courageous, insightful portrayals
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