The Sniper by James Riordan, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Sniper

The Sniper

by James Riordan
     
 

Stalingrad snipers were a legend in their time. Their patience, keen eyes and ruthlessness helped win the Battle of Stalingrad and turn the tide of the Second World War. This is the true story of a teenage sniper recruited in 1942 by Vasily Zaitsev to seek out and shoot German officers. To begin with, the youngster finds it almost impossible to kill, but after a

Overview

Stalingrad snipers were a legend in their time. Their patience, keen eyes and ruthlessness helped win the Battle of Stalingrad and turn the tide of the Second World War. This is the true story of a teenage sniper recruited in 1942 by Vasily Zaitsev to seek out and shoot German officers. To begin with, the youngster finds it almost impossible to kill, but after a shocking discovery, goes on to 'snap as many as 84 German sticks', and following capture and a daredevil escape, leads a handpicked unit on a hazardous mission to seize Field Marshall Paulus, the Commander-in-Chief of the invading army. But this sniper is no ordinary marksman. The author first visited Stalingrad in 1959, and made subsequent visits in 1963 and, most recently, in 2006, when he met Tania Chernova, the heroine of this novel. Having studied Russian in Birmingham and Moscow, James Riordan lived, worked and travelled extensively in Russia for five years, and has presented several BBC radio programmes on Russia. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Russian at the University of Surrey.

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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845078850
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication date:
05/26/2009
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

Meet the Author

James Riordan has traveled the world collecting folktales and has published over thirty volumes of tales from different countries. The Twelve Labours of Hercules won the UK Reading Association Award 1998. He is Emeritus Professor at the University of Surry and Visiting Professor at the University of Worcester, as well as holding honorary degrees from Birmingham, London, Moscow and Grenoble. He regularly reviews children's books for The Times., and his autobiography, Comrade Jim: the spy who played for Spartak, was published in 2008 by Fourth Estate.

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