Saving Zasha

Randi Barrow, Scholastic Press, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-545-20632-7
In her first book for children, adult author Barrow brings readers a gentle and suspenseful story straight from the heart of a dog-lover. Just after WWII ends, 13-year-old Mikhail finds a beautiful German shepherd named Zasha and her owner, Petr, in the woods near his small Russian town. Shortly after, Petr dies and Mikhail and his family (except for his father, who has not yet returned from the war) are determined to keep the beloved dog hidden from those seeking to capture or kill the dog because of the breed's association with Germany: Katia, a nosy schoolmate and the daughter of the newspaper editor investigating Petr's death; Dimitri, a breeder who hopes to create a Russian superdog; and a pair of conniving dog thieves. Mikhail's sense of humor, concern for his family, and love of Zasha are all readily apparent in his narration, which smoothly incorporates background information for readers unfamiliar with 20th-century Russian life and history. If occasionally precious, Barrow's novel is quick reading yet weighty, and captures the prejudices and aftereffects of war. Ages 9–13. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-59859-886-5
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61707-023-5
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-60814-795-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-60981-237-9
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-545-53227-3
Paperback - 232 pages - 978-0-545-20633-4
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