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Barrow, Randi.
New York : Scholastic Press, 2011
IL 5-8, RL 4.0
ISBN 0545206324

(3 Booktalks)
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

"Maybe the soldier you found wasn't alone. Or he told you something important before he died. Or he still had his dog with him. His German dog," Katia said.

It’s 1945, and the war with Germany is finally over.  Mikhail, 13, and his family are struggling to survive in their rural Russian community, where everything German is hated and Mikhail’s father is missing in action. An injured soldier had just enough time to entrust the care of his German shepherd to Mikhail before dying, and he and his family are determined to keep and protect this gentle, beautiful dog.  But German shepherds are being shot on sight by people who see them as symbols of Hitler’s Germany, and anyone who owns one is considered a traitor to Russia. 
Will Mikhail and his family be able to keep Zasha safe, especially with the nosey Katia asking so many questions? Read Saving Zasha to find out.  (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Award nominee, 2011-2012)

Booktalk #2

“Someone tried to steal my dog.  Zasha come.” The dog trotted forward and came to rest at his side. (p.11)  It was the first time I’d seen a dog in years, and never one this exquisite; I was awestruck. “He’s beautiful.”  “She,” he said.  “Zasha.” (Excerpt from Saving Zasha p.12)

Can you imagine going years without seeing a dog?  I can’t!  I love all kinds of dogs!

In Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow, Russian brothers Mikhail and Nikolai take in what is possibly the last German Shepherd Dog in Russia.  By keeping this dog that they found, they have put their whole family in danger because anything that had a connection to Germany was strictly forbidden in Russia, especially after World War II when Germany attacked Russia.  Mikhail and Nikolai decide they can keep the dog hidden and can keep her safe.  The brothers go through many scary situations to protect this beautiful dog.  Read the book and find out of Nikolai and Mikhail were able to keep Zasha safe and keep her from hidden from the dognappers. 
(Booktalk by the Sequoya Youth Book Award committee, 2014)

Booktalk #3

World War II is over and Russia does not want anything to do with Germany, a country that attacked them so brutally.. Mikhail, a 13 year old boy from Russia, finds a sick and dying man who has a German shepherd. Mikhail’s family decides to keep Zasha a secret from the rest of the townspeople and vows to hide and protect her. Mikhail discovers Zasha is pregnant. There is a man nearby who is trying to breed a Russian superdog and would love to add a German shepherd to the breed. Find out what happens to Zasha and her puppies.  (Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award nominee, 2014)

SUBJECTS:     German shepherd dog -- Fiction.
                        Dogs -- Fiction.
                        Family life -- Russia (Federation) -- Fiction.
                        Reporters and reporting -- Fiction.
                        Single-parent families -- Fiction.
                        World War, 1939-1945 -- Russia (Federation) -- Fiction.
                        Soviet Union -- History -- German occupation, 1941-1944 -- Fiction.
                        Historical fiction.
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