I recently had the pleasure of reading Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow. Saving Zasha takes place in post World War II Russia where almost all of the dogs have died due to the war. I don’t know how much of this book is true, but it claims that many dogs were killed during WWII due to starvation or being used against the enemy. The book also suggests that having a German shepherd at the time was almost traitorous.
Well, the main character, Mikhail discovers a German shepherd when a dying man stumbles through his family’s woods. The man tells Mikhail the dog’s name is Zasha and Mikhail takes them both back to his house where the man dies. The story follows Mikhail and his family as they attempt to hide Zasha from their neighbors for they fear Zasha would be killed. Obviously, I’m not going to giveaway the ending. However, I will say it has a really good and satisfying ending.
If your child loves history or dogs, then this book will make them eager to read. I know I don’t consider myself to be a big pet person. However, I found myself continuing to read to see what happened to Mikhail and Zasha. It also made me wonder if dogs really were used in World War II. I did do a quick search and discovered that there was indeed results for dogs being used in the war. I was afraid to click any because I didn’t know if they contained anything gruesome or sad. However, it would appear that people did use dogs in World War II. So, who knows, maybe this book will get your child interested in some aspect of history if they aren’t already.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the Saving Zasha book for free for review purposes. No compensation was received. The opinions expressed are my own.