Sasha Zaichik has known the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers since the age of six:The Young Pioneer is devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism.A Young Pioneer is a reliable comrade and always acts according to conscience.A Young Pioneer has a right to criticize shortcomings.But now that it is finally time to join the Young Pioneers, the day Sasha has . . . Sasha Zaichik has known the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers since the age of six. The Young Pioneer is devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism. A Young Pioneer is a reliable comrade and always acts according to conscience. A Young Pioneer has a right to criticize shortcomings. But now that it is finally time to join the Young Pioneers, the day Sasha has awaited for so long, everything seems to go awry. He breaks a classmate’s glasses with a snowball. He accidentally damages a bust of Stalin in the school hallway. And worst of all, his father, the best Communist he knows, was arrested just last night.
What I liked about this book: It’s a quick, easy read. Even though the story is fiction, it gives young readers an insight to not only about growing up in Communist Russia, but just how life and one’s view of life can change in an instant. The large print and illustrations and fast pace, make this a good read for upper elementary students. It could be used with an introductory unit on world history. The same attributes that make it a good read for elementary students also make it a good fit for older students, (middle school) who are not quite reading at grade level. It would be a good read for a book share assignment.
What I didn’t like about this book: I actually liked it all. It truly is a quick read – can easily be read in an afternoon or weekend.
Breaking Stalin’s Nose is a 2012 Newbery Honor Book. I’ve added to my wish list for the Endeavour library.
Recommended for 4th grade and up.
AR Book Level: 4.6
Mrs. Archer’s rating 4 of 5!