The Sniper

Overview


Stalingrad snipers were legends in their time. Their patience, keen eyes, and ruthlessness helped win the Battle of Stalingrad and turn the tide of the Second World War. James Riordan visited Stalingrad in 1959 and several times later. In 2006 he met Tania Chernova, whose story was so fascinating that Riordan made her the heroine of this compelling novel. The year is 1942. Legendary sniper Vasily Zaitsev, who killed a record 242 Nazis, recruits Tania to seek out and shoot German officers. At first, she finds it ...
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Overview


Stalingrad snipers were legends in their time. Their patience, keen eyes, and ruthlessness helped win the Battle of Stalingrad and turn the tide of the Second World War. James Riordan visited Stalingrad in 1959 and several times later. In 2006 he met Tania Chernova, whose story was so fascinating that Riordan made her the heroine of this compelling novel. The year is 1942. Legendary sniper Vasily Zaitsev, who killed a record 242 Nazis, recruits Tania to seek out and shoot German officers. At first, she finds it almost impossible to kill. But when she discovers that her beloved grandparents, along with many of her friends, have been brutally murdered by invading Nazis, she vows to “break them like sticks.” Following her capture and daredevil escape, she leads a handpicked unit on what seems like a suicide mission — to seize Field Marshall Paulus, the Commander-in-Chief of the invading army. But Tania is no ordinary marksman. Author Riordan’s dramatic narrative and wealth of period detail make this story of one of the lesser-known episodes in World War II history a gripping one.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The Battle of Stalingrad changed the course of World War II-but at the cost of one million lives, more than any other battle in history. Tania Belova is 16 when she leaves school, trains as a sniper and helps to defend the Soviet Union from the German invasion in 1942. Based closely on the true experiences of Tania Chernova, awarded the Red Star for bravery, this third-person narrative effectively tells Tania's gripping tale and offers perspectives on war in general. Riordan's writing is perfectly accessible for young readers and is also a model of excellent prose-spare, evocative language rooted in active verbs, concrete nouns and well-chosen modifiers. Tania's story moves along swiftly, as she performs her job well despite her misgivings about war and killing. There is a deep poignancy and a moral tone here, along with exciting action, heroism and anguish. The well-designed cover in black and red, complete with sniper and bullet holes, and the fast-paced tale of war ensure that this fine volume will appeal to many readers. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 10-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845078850
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 819,014
  • Age range: 10 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.13 (h) x 0.67 (d)

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