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A Thousand Sisters
Cover of A Thousand Sisters
A Thousand Sisters
The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
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Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist!The gripping true story of the only women to fly in combat in World War II—from Elizabeth Wein, award-winning author of Code Name VerityThis...
Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist!The gripping true story of the only women to fly in combat in World War II—from Elizabeth Wein, award-winning author of Code Name VerityThis...
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  • Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist!

    The gripping true story of the only women to fly in combat in World War II—from Elizabeth Wein, award-winning author of Code Name Verity

    This nonfiction book is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades 7 to 8, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

    In the early years of World War II, Josef Stalin issued an order that made the Soviet Union the first country in the world to allow female pilots to fly in combat. Led by Marina Raskova, these three regiments, including the 588th Night Bomber Regiment—nicknamed the "night witches"—faced intense pressure and obstacles both in the sky and on the ground. Some of these young women perished in flames. Many of them were in their teens when they went to war.

    This is the story of Raskova's three regiments, women who enlisted and were deployed on the front lines of battle as navigators, pilots, and mechanics. It is the story of a thousand young women who wanted to take flight to defend their country, and the woman who brought them together in the sky.

    Packed with black-and-white photographs, fascinating sidebars, and thoroughly researched details, A Thousand Sisters is the inspiring true story of a group of women who set out to change the world, and the sisterhood they formed even amid the destruction of war.

About the Author-

  • Elizabeth Wein is the holder of a private pilot's license and the owner of about a thousand maps. She is best known for her historical fiction about young women flying in World War II, including the New York Times bestselling Code Name Verity and Rose under Fire. Elizabeth is also the author of Cobalt Squadron, a middle grade novel set in the Star Wars universe and connected to the 2017 release The Last Jedi. Elizabeth lives in Scotland and holds both British and American citizenship. Visit her online at www.elizabethwein.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    November 15, 2018
    In her first work of nonfiction for teens, Wein (The Last Jedi, 2017, etc.) details the complex and inspiring story of the only women combat pilots of World War II.The "Great Patriotic War" was already under way by the time Marina Raskova--a famous, record-breaking pilot--convinced the Soviet Union to create women's air regiments. Using photographs and primary source quotations, Wein brings these regiments of young women to life, tracing their harrowing experiences before, during, and after the war. A detailed overview of the Russian political and social landscape in the first half of the 20th century is interwoven throughout the narrative, contextualizing the Soviet Union's involvement in World War II. Wein thoughtfully addresses her readers' contemporary understanding of identity politics, acknowledging the homogeneity of her white (despite the ethnic diversity of the USSR), straight subjects and the ways that Soviet ideologies about gender align with or differ from the expectations of contemporary American readers. The Soviet women's experiences are placed in context through comparisons with the roles of women pilots in the Royal Air Force and the United States military. Vivid descriptions of their personal sacrifices and the deep bonds they formed connect readers to the story. Careful footnotes provide information about unfamiliar vocabulary, and pagelong sidebars round out the history with tangential but fascinating facts.For readers invested in military and/or feminist history, this important book soars. (source notes, bibliography) (History. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2018

    Gr 9 Up-From Wein, author of Code Name Verity, comes a nonfiction account of the women pilots of the Soviet Union. Starting prior to World War II, Wein describes how aviation became a hobby and passion for many young women in the Soviet Union. When World War II started, life under the Soviet system meant women could serve as pilots, theoretically equal to men, in the war effort. Wein provides a meticulously detailed account of Marina Raskova's Aviation Regiments: the 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment, the 587th Bomber Aviation Regiment, and the 588th Night Bomber Aviation Regiment. These three were largely staffed with women volunteers and fought on the frontlines of the war. The author provides an intimate look at the pilots' lives, both personal and military, as they work to defeat the Nazis. Likewise, Wein does not shy away from describing the difficult and often terrifying aspects of living under Stalin, including descriptions of man-made famines and the Great Purge. Some readers may have difficulty keeping track of all of the figures, but Raskova often acts as an anchor to assist readers in following the numerous and complex accounts. VERDICT Recommend this richly detailed work of nonfiction to fans of Monica Hesse and Wein's historical fiction.-Kaetlyn Phillips, Yorkton, Sask.

    Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Steve Sheinkin, author of Bomb and Undefeated "A masterful writer of fiction turns her powers to nonfiction (that alone is cause for celebration) to tell us an action-packed World War II story, full of thrills and tragedy, over-the-top heroism and tiny details that make her scenes and people come to life."
  • Candace Fleming, award-winning author of The Family Romanov "What a writer! And an historian, too! Told through the superbly researched, powerful and poignant stories of the women involved, Elizabeth Wein gives due to the Soviet Union's valiant women flyers of World War II."
  • New York Times Book Review "A powerful tale.... This story proves what every child should know: A woman can do anything."
  • School Library Journal (starred review) "A richly detailed work of nonfiction."
  • Kirkus Reviews "[A] complex and inspiring story...This important book soars."
  • Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "Wein relates episodes of daring, heroism, and tragedy that fully match male-centric war stories but also acknowledges that there were gender-related tensions to be overcome regarding competitive flyboys and skeptical commanders."
  • ALA Booklist "Exceptionally well researched ... [and] packed with lively detail."
  • Publishers Weekly "[An] affecting introduction to these courageous, determined pilots, mechanics, and navigators."
  • Horn Book Magazine "An easy, friendly writing style — deceptive, given the acuity of Wein's perceptions and the extent of the material she manages — invites readers into the company of a formidable sisterhood."

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The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
Elizabeth Wein
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