Showing posts with the label Anne Blankman

Review: The Blackbird Girls

The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman Category: Middle Grade Reviewer: Beth Gallego On an April morning in 1986, Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up in Pripyat, Ukraine, to a red sky full of blue smoke. Neither of their fathers have come home from the overnight shift at the nearby V. I. Lenin Nuclear Power Plant, better known as Chernobyl. Within a few days, the twelve-year-old girls are evacuated to Leningrad. Oksana is angry and afraid, not least because her father has always told her that Jews are liars and thieves, and Valentina’s family is Jewish. Valentina is resentful that her mother is sending her away to a grandmother she has never met, with a girl who has bullied her for years as company. On an August morning in 1941, Rifka Friedman flees her Kiev home with only an older cousin and the few things they can carry, racing to escape the invading German forces. Her mother and three little brothers remain behind, and she can only hope that she will see them agai