All too frequently as our family studies historical eras in our
own country and in lands abroad, we focus on governmental structures,
military lines that have been drawn in the sand, the issues that
triggered the events, and possibly the victims and heroes of the
day. We are familiar with names like Stalin and Hitler and what
their regimes stood for. Our libraries are packed with the stories
of Anne Frank, Corrie Ten Boom, and even The Boy in the Striped
Pajamas. However, we do not meander the streets of the common
civilians that struggle to just survive through these military
Boris is a 130-page work of historical fiction that
fills that gap. It is the story 12-year-old Boris and his friend,
Nadia. These youngsters travel across the forbidden No-Man's-Land
that lies between Russian and German lines just outside the besieged
city of Leningrad during World War II. It is the story of their
courage when faced with imminent death if they cannot secure food
for themselves and their families. Their own views of the "enemy" are
challenged as they come face to face with soldiers from the other
side and realize that they are just as human and filled with compassion
as they hope to be.
The content and vocabulary used in the book can easily be read
by upper elementary and middle school students. However, the story
is captivating enough to keep the attention of high school students
and adults alike.
Boris is a wonderful addition to the library of any
avid reader, a homeschool that is studying World War II, or any
home that desires to reinforce a compassionate spirit in their
children through the realization that our greatest "enemies" are
just as human and needy as we are.
A truly great read.