Like most twelve-year-olds, Ivan wants to spend his time having fun with his friends and playing his concertina. When German forces take
his life is changed forever. Not only do bombs destroy everything and make food scarce, but his mother gets sent to work in the mountains, and Ivan must travel across the frozen lake to a village. It's lucky for him that he is traveling with "Auntie" who has been preparing for tough times and can show Ivan necessary skills for survival. He barely has time to adjust to his new home when he decides he wants to be a partisan, a group of people working underground to overthrow the Germans from Leningrad, . Being a partisan is dangerous, but Ivan swears he is up for the challenge. When the evil Major Axel Recht hears Ivan play the concertina, he orders him to come to the Nazi base and play for him and the other men. Ivan is introduced to Zasha and Thor, two German Shepherds who belong to Axel. Ivan can’t bear to see the dogs hurt during their training sessions and he vows to take them away to help the partisans. Will Ivan’s plan work? Will he get caught? What price will Ivan pay for his actions? Is it possible to save Zasha and Thor? Travel back in time and enjoy this interesting historical fiction book for middle grade readers. Russia
I first heard about Finding Zasha by Randi Barrow from Alex at The Children’s War. I love to read about all the historical fiction books on her blog each week! This is a powerful book about a boy who wants to do what he can for his people. Ivan has to grow up quickly, but he faces each challenge with bravery. The characters in the story are all well-developed, and I can easily picture them. This book deals with World War II and the effects that it had on the residents of
. Russia about Ivan’s drive to get his homeland back and the courageous acts he takes part in to help others makes this a great book for anyone in fifth and older. The details of the time period come alive and you have a better understanding of how difficult life was for everyone, even kids. I learned a lot about WWII and I loved seeing the characters work together toward a common goal. It is amazing what can be accomplished when we work together! At the end of the book, the author includes notes about her research. I liked reading the notes because it helped me to see what was real and what was made up. This story touched my heart. I look forward to reading the second book in this series, as I have heard Saving Zasha is even more action-packed! Take a journey back in time with Ivan. You will want to help others, and you will also be thankful for all that you have! . Reading
Has anyone else read Finding Zasha? Or have you read another book by Randi Barrow? What did you think?
Happy Reading! ~L