This is the first World War II novel I’ve read focused on the Russians. The Night Witches were women pilots who flew thousands of dangerous missions against the Germans. Author Kathryn Lasky is a good writer (Her Guardians of Ga’Hoole series are a favorite.)
13-year-old Valya is caught in the battle of Stalingrad – her grandmother dies in a bombing raid; her mother is shot by a sniper right in front of her. As she tries to leave the city, she’s recruited to fire heavy artillery at the German Panzer divisions.
The descriptions of war are pretty graphic. And once she makes it to the Night Witches, she says more than once she thinks she’s the only virgin in the unit.
Definitely full of action. Well-written. I learned a lot. Recommended for ages 14 and up.
(If you find it in your library’s children’s section, ask them to move it to YA.)
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