SUMMARY µ Finding Zasha

REVIEW Finding Zasha

SUMMARY µ Finding Zasha ´ Randi Barrow is back with another gripping heroic World War II story about a boy and his best friend a German shepherdIn 1941 the Germans began the long bloody siege on Leningrad During the chaos twelve year old Ivan is sent to live with relatives when his mother's job is moved to the mountains But it is a long and dangerous journeUt of Leningrad After settling into a new town it falls under Nazi occupation and Ivan is picked by Axel Recht an especially heinous soldier to come work for the Nazis One of Ivan's pleasant tasks is to train Alex's dogs Yet Ivan is determined to use his position to undermine the Nazis and rescue the dogs But Ivan underestimates Axel's attac. This preuel to Saving Zasha recounts the story of Ivan who is living in an apartment in Leningrad with his mother When the city is bombed a neighbor comes to live with them and Auntie who has lived through the revolution shows Ivan many tricks that he needs to survive She has hoarded food under floorboards has rubles stuffed into table legs and is unemotional about burning her furniture and books for fuel when times get tough When Ivan's mother's job in a factory gets moved to another city Ivan and Auntie head off to his Uncle Boris' cabin After a harrowing journey which involved walking six miles over a frozen lake when the truck they are in breaks down as well as a run in with partisans Ivan decides to stay with Auntie at her relative's house Galina knows that danger is coming but is glad of having Ivan's help Most of the small neighborhood is deserted with residents heading off to Moscow but the remaining people are trying to fight the Nazis When the local commander Axel Recht sees Ivan play the concertina he asks Ivan to come live at the base Ivan agrees because he can spy on the Germans there and also because he is worried for two German Shepherd puppies Zasha and Thor He wants to help them escape for their own safety and also so that the partisans can use them instead of the Nazis This of course is fraught with danger but Ivan manages to break free of the Nazis and live through the war without bringing himself to their attention Axel Recht however is a horrible man bent on revenge and he is bound and determined to find Ivan and the dogsStrengths I liked the first book but am very glad that this came out It is filled with all of the excitement that Saving Zasha could have used Survival in Leningrad a perilous journey away from the city dealing with the Nazis and eventually escaping them excellent stuff Now that we know Zasha's backstory reading about what happens to her after the war makes a lot sense The covers of both of these are both beautiful and scary at the same timeWeaknesses Students might not know enough about the Russian involvement in WWII to understand what is going on and should be instructed to read the notes at the back first


Randi Barrow is back with another gripping heroic World War II story about a boy and his best friend a German shepherdIn 1941 the Germans began the long bloody siege on Leningrad During the chaos twelve year old Ivan is sent to live with relatives when his mother's job is moved to the mountains But it is a long and dangerous journey to get o. Of course after reading Saving Zasha we all wondered where she really came from and who was the German soldier she was with Well Randi Barrow has written a preuel that pretty much answers those two uestionsFinding Zasha begins with the September 1941 Siege of Leningrad When German soldiers surround the city and cut off all supply lines life becomes difficult for everyone living in Leningrad including Ivan 12 and his mother a factory worker There is never enough food or heat and people are dying of starvation all over the cityWhen her apartment is hit by a bomb an elderly neighbor called Auntie by everyone moves in with them and begins to teach Ivan how to survive under siege lesson she learned in WWI As winter comes on and the blockade holds the three survive on the cans of beans Auntie had hidden away Then one day Ivan's mother announces that her job is moving to the Ural Mountains for safety and she must go with it but without IvanIt is decided that Ivan will go live with his Uncle Boris and Auntie will live with her sister in law Galina as soon as the ice road across the frozen miles long Lake Ladoga can hold the weight of transport trucks and they can leave Leningrad In January the ice is finally thick enough and Ivan and Auntie set out on their journey When no one meets them on the other side of the lake they are fortunate enough to be offered a ride by a friendly sleigh ownerAt last they arrive at Galina's home and Ivan settles in there for a few days before going on to Uncle Boris He meets Polina a girl about his age who seems to know every nook and cranny of the area It turns out that Polina along with Galina and now Auntie are working as partisans under the leadership of Petr and along with other villagers This is right up Ivan's alley and he too joins the partisans staying at Galina's instead of traveling on to Uncle BorisNot long after this the Germans arrive Ivan has been playing his concertina for Auntie and Galina's pleasure and as the Germans roll in their commander Major Axel Recht comes to the door to listen to Ivan play With him are two German Shepard puppies And when Commander Recht leaves he takes Ivan with him Now basically imprisoned in the makeshift Nazi headuarters it is Ivan's hope to discover useful information he pass on the the partisans Luckily the cruel animal trainer who is to teach the puppies to hate and kill Russians gets news that his son has been injured in fighting and leaves immediately to be by his side Ivan convinces the commander that he has experience training dogs and can do the job And of course Ivan begins to plot how he can get the puppies Zasha and Thor away from Recht's cruelty This won't be easy Recht is a sadistic vengeful man who loves his whip And when he forces Ivan to watch a German soldier being whipped for a minor breach the full extent of his cruelty becomes apparentBut Ivan's plan of escape may happen sooner that he expects when Recht and his soldiers must leave the village soon to go help in the fighting at Tikhvin where things are not going well for the Germans Can Ivan succeed in escaping Recht with both of his prized puppiesThis is a nice historical fiction work about Russia in WW2 an area not freuently explored in novels though lately some really excellent works have been published Another book depicting the terrible conditions in Russia during the war and how they impacted the ordinary Russians that people this story is always welcome And certainly all the historical facts in this novel were spot on the siege of Leningrad the ice road over Lake Ladoga the fighting at Tikhvin a battle that helped turn the tide for the starving people in Leningrad Be sure to read the Barrow's information and timeline about these things at the end of the bookBut Finding Zasha left me with very mixed feelings I actually enjoyed the first part of it

Randi Barrow â 1 SUMMARY

Finding ZashaHment to Zasha and Thor and soon finds himself being hunted by a ruthless soldier who will stop at nothing to get his dogs back As World War II rages around them Ivan must find a way to hide from Axel protect Zasha and Thor avoid the constant barrage of deadly bombings and survive in the devastating conditions of a city cut off from the worl. What a wonderful gem Finding Zasha turned out to be I was drawn to the book because my German Shepherd's name is Sasha and the story sounded interesting The story is about a 12 year old boy who lives with his mother in 1941 Lenigrad when the Nazis begin to occupy the city The boy evacuates with his Auntie while his mother is sent to work in the factories being moved to the mountains The boy arrives at a small village where he encounters an evil Nazi colonel who has two German Shepherd puppies named Thor and Zasha While living in the village he joins the partisans the underground rebels fighting the Nazis The story is beautifully told I believe this is a preuel to the book Saving Zasha so that will be next