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Publisher's Summary

Celebrated artist and author Eugene Yelchin drew on his own experience growing up in Soviet Russia to pen this Newbery Honor Book. Breaking Stalin’s Nose follows 10-year-old Sasha Zaichik, who wants nothing more than to be a Young Pioneer in Stalin’s Communist Party. But when his father, a member of the State Security police, is arrested the night before the Young Pioneer ceremony, Sasha is left to re-evaluate everything he’s been taught about Stalin and what it truly means to be a good comrade.

©2011 Eugene Yelchin (P)2012 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"[G]ets at the heart of a society that asks its citizens, even its children, to report on relatives and friends." ( Horn Book)

What listeners say about Breaking Stalin's Nose

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling! Frightening!

What made the experience of listening to Breaking Stalin's Nose the most enjoyable?

The story is horrifying, so I'm not sure that "enjoyable" is the right word to describe it. I would say that experiencing the hell, that was Stalin's Soviet Union, through the slowly evolving perspective of a 10 year old boy, is both riveting and frightening.

What did you like best about this story?

I was immensely impressed by the relentless, unsentimental way that the story unfolds.

Which character – as performed by Mark Turetsky – was your favorite?

The main character, without question.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found this book to be absolutely gut wrenching. It's impossible to listen to it, without being affected.

Any additional comments?

It's a very powerful book. It should completely dispel any "romantic" notions that anyone might have, about what life under Stalin was like.

2 people found this helpful

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Good story poor recording

The audio didn’t come through clearly. It fluctuated frequently and every 10th or so syllable was inaudible

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The best book I’ve listened to

I loved this book becouse it’s just great it is very nice to listen to and it leaves you in tears at the end but I do not like how the story end I wish that the man that made this book made a sequel i will recommend this book to all my freinds and family I also like that it’s a true story 🤩😀😛

#suspenseful #tearsjurker # true story

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An excellent listen that teaches a timeless lesson about fear

Breaking Stalin’s Nose is a short but worthy read for children and adults alike. It poignantly teaches the consequences of groupthink and the dangers of constantly living in fear of attack because of your personal beliefs.

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A must read for adult or child.

Through the eyes of a single child, this book is a haunting narrative of terror that killed 20 million people in a matter of 30 years.

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Thank God for Democracy!

My 11 year old daughter and I listened to this while finishing a few lessons on communism in Russia for our history class. This story blew me away. We never really studied communism when I was in school, and seeing it through a childs point of view was very interesting. My daughter (who is a video games and Pokémon loving girl- not a book worm) loved this story. Many times she looked at me with wide eyes, shocked at the circumstances. I loved Mark Turetsky's voice. He was a wonderful narrarator! The only thing I didn't like about the story was the ending! We both wanted more! But I guess I can fill in the blanks to know what happened to his dad.

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wanted to listen in one sitting

I heard a sample of the audio book and listened to it without stopping the recording at any point. It was addictive.

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Excellent Book

This book was awesome! Everyone in the family (ages 3-36) was on the edge of their seat. The only reason we didn’t give it 5 stars is because we didn’t feel like the story gave us enough closure.

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great story based on history we must all know

What made the experience of listening to Breaking Stalin's Nose the most enjoyable?

Listening wasn't enjoyable but it was compelling. What is griping about this story is that it illustrates so well the experience of living under totalitarianism. Its a simplified, less dense version of 1984, yet just as compelling.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator

What about Mark Turetsky’s performance did you like?

His inflections. His reading seemed quite consistent with how I imagine a young boys mind works.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Morgan Walker

I really enjoyed this book, I had picked it out from the library at my school. It was so good that I just had to buy it! It is a fast pasted book, I am a 12 year old that hates to read but this book I couldn't wait to start reading it again! 5 out of 5