The Blackbird Girls

The Blackbird Girls

Book - 2021
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"On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work--Chernobyl--has exploded. Before they know it, the two girls, who've always been enemies, find themselves on a train bound for Leningrad to stay with Valentina's estranged grandmother, Rita Grigorievna. In their new lives in Leningrad, they begin to learn what it means to trust another person. Oksana must face the lies her parents told her all her life. Valentina must keep her grandmother's secret, one that could put all their lives in danger. nd both of them discover something they've wished for: a best friend. But how far would you go to save your best friend's life? Would you risk your own? Told in alternating perspectives among three girls--Valentina and Oksana in 1986 and Rifka in 1941--this story shows that hatred, intolerance, and oppression are no match for the power of true friendship."-- Publisher's description.
Publisher: [New York, New York] :, Puffin Books,, 2021
Copyright Date: ┬ę2020
ISBN: 9781984837370
Characteristics: 340 pages ; 20 cm

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IndyPL_RachelJ Dec 17, 2020

Blackbird Girls is a strong middle grade novel about the power of friendship in difficult conditions. Oksana and Valentina both have fathers that are working on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986. When the nuclear plant has an explosion, the girls' lives are forever changed. While not initially friends, the girls grow close as circumstances force them to be together.

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darladoodles
Jul 18, 2020

A powerful portrait of an event in history that many know only by one name -- Cherobyl. Oksana and Valentina both have fathers who were at the plant when the disaster happened. Valentina is Jewish and faces teasing and bullying at school from kids like Oksana. Both girls are evacuated to Kiev once the danger is evident and only one of the mothers is approved to leave with them. From there, the stakes continue to increase. The book honestly depicts the realities of living under communism and the prejudices against Jews. In addition, a parallel narrative from 1941 shows Valentina's grandmother and her perilous journey escaping the Nazis in WW II. A heart-filled tale punctuated with peril and the power of the human spirit. I loved it. Perfect for Ruta Sepetys fans!

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IndyPL_RachelJ Dec 17, 2020

IndyPL_RachelJ thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 13

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