Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Unmemoir--Review of Night of the Cossack

This review is from: Night of the Cossack (Paperback) 5 stars
A very well written, well researched historical fiction written by a man who didn't know his grandfather, but envisioned him and wrote about him.

Tom never knew his grandfather, but he did know about his grandfather's roots. He was able to envision what his grandfather lived through, research the times and write a wonderful story.

In the story Nathan is kidnapped by a Russian Cossack soldier and forced to serve in the army along side his captor. The soldier changes Nathan's name to Stepan and raises him as a son. Nathan resented the name change at first, but soon learned that it was for his protection. He was forbiddent to ever speak his name again or tell the other soldiers that he was a Jew.

Stepan trained and studied as a soldier. He was respected by the other soldiers and his captor, Nikolai. Stepan was an excellent marksman and therefore responsible for bringing food into the camp.

When Stepan and Nikolai are sent to Odessa, Stepan suffers tragedy and betrayal. Thus setting off a chain of events that will change his life forever and eventually take him to America.

This story would make an excellent book to study in middle or high school. It has enough love for the girls and enough adventure for the boys. The history alone could supply a teacher with at least a week's lesson plans. If I were teaching this book, I would incorporate measurement and money for math, map reading skills for geography, history facts for social studies, and of course--reading a good book for language study.

I highly recommend this book for teachers of any grade over 6th and reluctant readers.
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