Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Winter Horses by Philip Kerr - ADVISABLE

Kerr, Philip The Winter Horses, 278 p. Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.  $17.  Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (horses shot in large numbers and used as stew meat).  

Kalinka has made her way to the Ukrainian steppe during the harsh winter of 1941.  She takes refuge with a herd of Przewalski horses at a nature reserve, which, unfortunately, has just been captured by Nazi troops.  Under orders from Berlin, the soldiers are to kill off the rare horses because of their genetic anomalies.  If they find Kalinka, with her distinctive gold star, they would be happy to kill her too.  

I wish historical fiction were more loved by children right now.  This is another excellent look at World War II and Nazi groupthink.  Kalinka is a character to grab your heart and the horses that adopt her are stars on their own.  There is a small supernatural bent to the tale, but it works well with the story.  

EL, MS - ADVISABLE.  Cindy, Library Teacher

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