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A Thousand Sisters : The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II
by Elizabeth Wein




Overview -

Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist

The gripping true story of the only women to fly in combat in World War II--from Elizabeth Wein, award-winning author of Code Name Verity

This nonfiction book is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades 7 to 8, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

In the early years of World War II, Josef Stalin issued an order that made the Soviet Union the first country in the world to allow female pilots to fly in combat. Led by Marina Raskova, these three regiments, including the 588th Night Bomber Regiment--nicknamed the "night witches"--faced intense pressure and obstacles both in the sky and on the ground. Some of these young women perished in flames. Many of them were in their teens when they went to war.

This is the story of Raskova's three regiments, women who enlisted and were deployed on the front lines of battle as navigators, pilots, and mechanics. It is the story of a thousand young women who wanted to take flight to defend their country, and the woman who brought them together in the sky.

Packed with black-and-white photographs, fascinating sidebars, and thoroughly researched details, A Thousand Sisters is the inspiring true story of a group of women who set out to change the world, and the sisterhood they formed even amid the destruction of war.

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More About A Thousand Sisters by Elizabeth Wein

 
 
 

Overview

Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist

The gripping true story of the only women to fly in combat in World War II--from Elizabeth Wein, award-winning author of Code Name Verity

This nonfiction book is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades 7 to 8, especially during homeschooling. It's a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

In the early years of World War II, Josef Stalin issued an order that made the Soviet Union the first country in the world to allow female pilots to fly in combat. Led by Marina Raskova, these three regiments, including the 588th Night Bomber Regiment--nicknamed the "night witches"--faced intense pressure and obstacles both in the sky and on the ground. Some of these young women perished in flames. Many of them were in their teens when they went to war.

This is the story of Raskova's three regiments, women who enlisted and were deployed on the front lines of battle as navigators, pilots, and mechanics. It is the story of a thousand young women who wanted to take flight to defend their country, and the woman who brought them together in the sky.

Packed with black-and-white photographs, fascinating sidebars, and thoroughly researched details, A Thousand Sisters is the inspiring true story of a group of women who set out to change the world, and the sisterhood they formed even amid the destruction of war.


 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062453013
  • ISBN-10: 0062453017
  • Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
  • Publish Date: January 2019
  • Page Count: 400
  • Reading Level: Ages 13-17
  • Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds


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BookPage Reviews

A Thousand Sisters

BookPage Top Pick in Young Adult, starred review, February 2019

Award-winning author Elizabeth Wein is renowned for her vivid prose, compelling characters and riveting plots in historical fiction like Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, both of which feature female pilots in World War II. In her new nonfiction work, A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II, Wein brings her masterful storytelling skills to the little-known role of female Soviet combat pilots known as the Night Witches.

Wein is a pilot herself, and her respect for these intrepid airwomen and the challenges they faced is clear. “This is the story of a generation of girls who were raised in the belief that they were as good as men, and who were raised to believe that it was their destiny to defend their nation in battle,” she writes.

At the heart of the Soviet training program for women was pilot Marina Raskova, and by chronicling Raskova’s youth against the backdrop of Russia’s political climate, Wein effectively provides historical background for her audience. Raskova’s achievements made her a natural as a flight instructor, and her three regiments of Soviet airwomen, including the famed 588th Night Bomber Regiment, became the first women to take part in combat operations. Wein follows a number of women whose exploits made history and also examines the social and political climate that caused the number of female pilots to drop after the war.

At a time when books on World War II are increasingly in demand, this fascinating story is sure to appeal to readers of all ages. In a closing section, Wein notes that only about 5 percent of commercial pilots today are women. By bringing attention to this little-known history, A Thousand Sisters just might help inspire some young readers to change that.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 

BAM Customer Reviews