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The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman


Two girls, both displaced by the explosion at the Chernobyl power plant in 1986, form an unlikely friendship that will last them a lifetime. Meanwhile, forty years earlier, the story of a young Jewish girl escaping German soldiers in Ukraine emerges.


AGE RANGE INTERMEDIATE


THEMES

Refugees

Russia

Ukraine

Adventure

Child Abuse

Unlikely Friends

Jewish

World War II


OVERALL RATING 9.5/10

Anne Blankman certainly knows how to pull on your heartstrings, and how to weave a masterful adventure story that readers of all ages will love. Reading this book is a very interesting experience, as it shows what living in the Soviet Union is like from the perspective of someone who grew up there. I learned a lot from this one book that I don't know if I would ever have learned otherwise! All the plotlines in this book weave together so perfectly, and all of the characters have perfect backstories. For once, the children felt real, almost to the point that I wondered if the author was a child phycologist! All together, this was a wonderful read.


PROS Realistic Children


Well thought out, satisfying ending


Educational on topics of Russia and Ukraine


Engaging

Violence and Scariness 3/5 Girl washes blood from sheets after child is born, radiation sickness and destruction everywhere, infected wound, child beaten, bombings. Sex and Romance 1/5 Woman has a baby.



CONS Quite an emotionally heavy read


Emotional Intensity 5/5 The main characters' fathers are ill and dead, they flee and leave behind everything they know, child and mother beaten and abused, child mourning abusive father, racism against Jews, girl finds out entire family was shot by soldiers, young girl wants to die. Drinking and Drugs 3/5 Child afraid of abusive and alcoholic fathers. Sick men given Whisky to cure them. Drunk men.


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