A chilling and dramatic tale of belief and freedom, of imprisonment and of escape - from multi-award-winning author Anne Fine
Anne Fine is one of our most distinguished writers for children. She has written over fifty highly acclaimed books and has won numerous awards, including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and both the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year and the Carnegie Medal twice over. Anne was appointed the Children's Laureate from 2001-3, and her work has been translated into over forty languages. In 2003 she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded an OBE. Anne lives in County Durham. Anne Fine was born and educated in the Midlands, and now lives in County Durham. She has written numerous highly acclaimed and prize-winning books for children and adults. Her novel The Tulip Touch won the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Goggle-Eyes won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal, and was adapted for television by the BBC; Flour Babies won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Bill's New Frock won a Smarties Prize, and Madame Doubtfire has become a major feature film starring Robin Williams. Anne was the Children's Laureate 2001 - 2003 and won an OBE in 2003.
Gr 7 Up-Yuri's grandmother watched the Czar fall; his parents jumped on the revolutionary bandwagon. Yuri has spent his life celebrating the Five Great Leaders, marching in their honor and singing the praises of his country, but things are changing. People live in fear. Five leaders are whittled down to one. Yuri can see what's happening. He's a smart boy, and it's that smart tongue of his that finds him on the run from the police, trying to survive in the endless, cold steppes. After finding a new home, he soon lands in a mining camp in the far north, sentenced to 10 years for another slip of the tongue. Though Yuri faces many trials and hardships, his actions and narrative voice remain at a static level of maturity, feeling too old for the early Yuri and too young for his hardened self. This makes it even more difficult to connect with the free but merciless protagonist readers are introduced to in the final pages. Fine, known for the comedy of Madame Doubtfire (1988; o.p.) and the seriousness of The Tulip Touch (1997, both Little, Brown), does portray a desolation, cold, hunger, and hardship that vividly bring the story to life. This dark look at an alternate Russia under a totalitarian government is in the dystopian vein of Ann Halam's Siberia (Random, 2005) and Pete Hautman's Rash (S & S, 2006). A good segue into discussions of both historical Communist Russia and modern society.-Cara von Wrangel Kinsey, New York Public Library Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
The author of Madame Doubtfire turns to grittier, more political subject matter as she traces the circular route of revolution and its devastating effects on her protagonist. Growing up in a "sort-of Russia, in a sort-of 1930s, under a Stalin-type leader," Yuri has been taught to keep a low profile and never question government policies, no matter how unjust they may seem. But one small error in judgment marks him as a traitor and his life is soon in danger. Fine narrates a harrowing account of his flight, capture, imprisonment and sentence to hard labor, offering example after example of intolerance and torture. Although the rise of movements against the government at first appear to offer Yuri hope, the novel's outcome underscores the notion that history repeats itself. Dark and thought-provoking. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
This ambitious book is a rare achievement . . . Subtle, stimulating
and morally complex but it is also evocative and convincing: we
feel keenly the chill of both soulless hegemony and its frozen
wastes * The Sunday Times *
It carries lessons to be re-assimilated by young readers - how society can be deceived, how people can become powerless and how tyranny can breed tyranny * The Bookseller *
A hybrid of political concern and an excruciatingly exciting adventure-thriller, Anne Fine's The Road of Bones could easily be described as a Magnum Opus . . . The Road of Bones might be cold in setting but at heart glows with an intensity of warmth, passion, fervour and belief, it is the novel that all should resolve to read -- Jake Hope * Achuka *
The Road of Bones is a startling achievement, not least for its refusal to wrap it all up into a neat and tidy happy ending. It will leave its young readers with a great deal to think about. Most children will know of the Holocaust, but few will realise how many perished during Stalin's purges. This alone is a story worth telling. Cleverly though, The Road of Bones also makes its warnings contemporary, timeless even * thebookbag.co.uk *
Beneath its cold white cover a story of magnitude unfolds -- Diane Samuels * Guardian *