Stalinism Through a Child’s Eyes

by J. Wiltz

In a 2012 interview with The Horn Book, Inc., Russian author Eugene Yelchin seemed to take quiet pride in his Newbery Award-winning book Breaking Stalin’s Nose and its special designation as “the first children’s book about Stalin.”

This pride was well-deserved. Like Watership Down and Maus before it, Breaking Stalin’s Nose tells a story that is not always pleasant, but which advanced young readers will enjoy and ask important questions about nevertheless. It is an incredible teaching tool for a world that has largely footnoted, rewritten, or forgotten about the murderous reign of Joseph Stalin.

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