This week the Arcady's Goal Blog Tour kicks off right here at Kid Lit Frenzy with a review and giveaway. Check out the links for all of the stops in the blog tour and for a chance to enter to win a copy of Eugene Yelchin's newest book.
by Eugene Yelchin
Henry Holt and Company (October 14, 2014)
Audience: Grades 4 to 7
Historical Fiction * Soviet Union * Soccer
IndieBound | WorldCat
Reviews: Kirkus | Publisher's Weekly
Description from GoodReads:
From Newbery Honor–winning author Eugene Yelchin comes another glimpse into Soviet Russia. For twelve-year-old Arcady, soccer is more than just a game. Sent to live in a children’s home after his parents are declared enemies of the state, it is a means of survival, securing extra rations, respect, and protection. Ultimately, it proves to be his chance to leave. But in Soviet Russia, second chances are few and far between. Will Arcady seize his opportunity and achieve his goal? Or will he miss his shot?
Thoughts about this book:
In 2012, when Breaking Stalin's Nose won a Newbery Honor, I immediately went out and got a copy to read. It was fascinating to me to read a story set in the former Soviet Union. There were not many novels that I knew of that seemed as accessible as Breaking Stalin's Nose and also gave readers some insight to life in the Soviet Union.
Yelchin is back with another novel, Arcady's Goal, set in the early 1940's in the Communist Russia. And as with Breaking Stalin's Nose, Yelchin finds a smaller story that will reach children while giving them some insight into what life would have been like for those living in the Soviet Union.
For children with limited understanding of the time period and the significance of reporting others to the authorities, it is helpful to read first the author's note at the end of the book. I also find that both the length of the book and the complexity of the time period makes this book an excellent choice for a classroom read aloud. In addition to talking about the events happening in the story, and how children will relate to Arcady and his love for soccer, there are many possibilities for significant discussion.
I found as I read Arcady's Goal, I had a clear understanding of Arcady and how he took risks in an effort to protect himself and survive. It was through his gifted nature to play soccer so well that other possibilities open up to him. And though we often see Ivan through Arcady's eyes, we learn of the struggles and losses that Ivan has faced with the loss of his wife and more.
If you have not read Breaking Stalin's Nose, I would certainly add it to your "to-read" list along with Arcady's Goal. Yelchin's ability to write with emotion and genuineness makes these must have's for the classroom. Additionally, Yelchin's pencil illustrations add an additional layer to the story.
Eugene Yelchin talking about his 2012 Newbery Honor Book - Breaking Stalin's Nose
About the author:
Eugene Yelchin is the author and illustrator of the Newbery Honor Book Breaking Stalin's Nose. Bord and educated in Russia, he left the former Soviet Union when he was twenty-severn years old. Mr. Yelchin has also illustrated several books for children, including Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? and Won Ton. He lives in California with his wife and children.
website | facebook
Check out the other stops on the blog tour:
10/6 – Kid Lit Frenzy
10/7 – Eat the Book
10/8 – Watch. Connect. Read
10/9 – Read, Write, Reflect
10/10 – Nerdy Book Club
10/13 – Librarian in Cute Shoes
10/14 – The Busy Librarian
To enter to win a copy of Arcady's Goal, please complete the Rafflecopter form below. All participants must have a US Mailing address and be 13 years old or older.