The Leningrad Tales Series

Text by Julia Yakovleva, illustrated by Vlada Myakonkina

The family saga – one of the first and successful contemporary attempts to speak to children about the Stalin era – is finalized! Russian press claimed The Raven’s Children, the first title of the series, to be the main event in the Russian children’s literature of the year 2016.

Five novels follow Shurka, Tanya, their little brother Bobka and their adopted sister Sarah from 1938 to 1948. The darkest pages of Russian history – the time of the Great Terror, the Second World War, and the Siege of Leningrad – are shown through the eyes of children. Real history is mixed with a fantasy world, so we are left to wonder if this fantasy world is real or if it’s a way that helps children to explain all the cruel events around them and to overcome their fears. The author successfully combines the elements of tales and thriller novels to tell about terrible circumstances. She does it with respect to the history and to all those people – our parents and grandparents – who lived at that time. The main characters are ordinary children who love to have fun, who search for truth and justice, and who have questions for adults. It is a story of survival and childhood in the Soviet Union. This series is about fear and courage, indifference and hope, about the importance of being free in your thoughts and actions at any time and at any age.

  • Family saga written as magical realism and historical fiction.
  • Factual details thanks to Julia’s thorough work with documents and archives.
  • Many metaphors and interpretations of the deep layers of the novels.
  • The darkest pages of Russian and Soviet history keeping many secrets to this day.
  • Despite all of this, these books give hope and a sense of freedom. The first title is written as a middle-grade novel whereas the final book is targeted at young adults.

English (The Raven`s Children)

Middle Grade, YA, Series
Age: 10+
Size: 140*200 mm
The books were published by Samokat, the first book of the series (The Raven`s Children) in 2016 and the last one (Clay Bees) in 2021
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