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The Blackbird Girls  By  cover art

The Blackbird Girls

By: Anne Blankman
Narrated by: Kathleen Gati,Natasha Soudek
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Publisher's Summary

National Jewish Book Award Winner

A Sydney Taylor Middle Grade Honor Book

Like Ruta Sepetys for middle grade, Anne Blankman pens a poignant and timeless story of friendship that twines together moments in underexplored history.

On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work - Chernobyl - has exploded. Before they know it, the two girls, who've always been enemies, find themselves on a train bound for Leningrad to stay with Valentina's estranged grandmother, Rita Grigorievna. In their new lives in Leningrad, they begin to learn what it means to trust another person. Oksana must face the lies her parents told her all her life. Valentina must keep her grandmother's secret, one that could put all their lives in danger. And both of them discover something they've wished for: a best friend. But how far would you go to save your best friend's life? Would you risk your own?

Told in alternating perspectives among three girls - Valentina and Oksana in 1986 and Rifka in 1941 - this story shows that hatred, intolerance, and oppression are no match for the power of true friendship.

©2020 Anne Blankman (P)2020 Listening Library

What listeners say about The Blackbird Girls

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Girl's Story

Really enjoyed the story. The reading was excellent It's more of a girl's story so I want mt 12 year old granddaughter to listen to it.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Powerful & moving

This book was moving, inspiring, and educational. The narration was particularly powerful. The characters quickly and easily became real to me, and the simplicity of the children’s views on hard issues and the complexity of the content & characters made for a compassionate and accessible engagement with the heartbreaking subject matter. I’d recommend this book to people to anyone.

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Good read but slow readers.

Good read but slow readers. I enjoyed the book and the readers were excellent though I felt they read a little too slowly.

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BlackBird girls

I love this book!!! I finished it in 2 days!!! The connections to different characters and perspectives were on point. Later in the book you find out that every single detail has a meaning and its a joy to figure out what the meanings are.

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Wonderful historical fiction!

I loved this book! Not only is it a beautiful story of friendship between two girls who have been taught to hate each other, it is full of history, geography, and cultural lessons. It fosters empathy, encourages kindness and empowers abused children to seek help and understand that they are not the problem. Highly recommend!

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Awesome story!!

The story is awesome and moving and the readers are great!!! I will definitely suggest it to my friends

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Remarkable story

There is history we all need to hear and learn. This story was based on true events. Those events should never be forgotten.

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  • Patrice JL
  • 08-15-20

Superb

A rich, moving and multi- layered story.

The Blackbird girls exposes racism, government control and 'doublespeak' as well as human kindness friendship and the terror of both nuclear power and war. Rich characterisation and top class narration. This is classed as a Young Adult book, but as someone much older than that I found it thought provoking and moving. Recommended.