ARCADY’S GOAL by Eugene Yelchin
Editor: Laura Godwin
October 2014; 978-0-8050-9844-0; $15.99/$18.50; 5 ½ x 7; Ages 9 – 12; B&W halftones
As World War II begins, Soviet Russia steels herself for the struggle. In the midst of this turmoil is Arcady, a young Russian boy who is sent to live in a children’s home after his parents are declared enemies of the state. He is a gifted soccer player, playing to keep his sanity and to earn his dinner. He dreams of becoming a player with the Red Army Soccer Club, a dream that seems impossible, until he is adopted by a man who will change the course of his life. Readers will fall in love with Arcady and sympathize with his struggle to become who he is so clearly meant to be.
Eugene is a powerful storyteller with both words and art. His black-and-white illustrations capture an intensity of emotion and movement that is astonishing. They are truly dynamic, and lend a cinematic feel to the book.
EUGENE YELCHIN is the author of Newbery Honor book BREAKING STALIN’S NOSE. He immigrated to the U.S. from Russia in the 1980s and draws heavily on his own experience in his novels. His father served as Captain of the Red Army Soccer Club.
Now that we have a second novel of text with beautiful illustrations from Eugene, this is the perfect time to repitch BREAKING STALIN’S NOSE, which won the Newbery Honor.
Newbery Honor Book
Over 80,000 copies sold!
Chinese Complex / Global Kids Books
Japanese / Iwanami Shoten
Korean / Prunsoop Publishing
Romanian / RAO Editura
Russian / Pink Giraffe
Spanish / Ediciones Castillo
"Mr. Yelchin has compressed into two days of events an entire epoch, giving young readers a glimpse of the precariousness of life in a capricious yet ever-watchful totalitarian state." —Wall Street Journal
"A miracle of brevity, this affecting novel zeroes in on two days and one boy to personalize Stalin's killing machine of the ’30s. . . . Black-and-white drawings march across the pages to juxtapose hope and fear, truth and tyranny, small moments and historical forces, innocence and evil. This Newbery Honor book offers timeless lessons about dictatorship, disillusionment and personal choice." —San Francisco Chronicle
"The cat-and-mouse chase that pits Sasha’s whole world against him will rivet middle-grade readers, but this title will hold special appeal for older students whose grasp of content outstrips their reading proficiency." —BCCB
"Picture book author/illustrator Yelchin makes an impressive middle-grade debut with this compact novel about a devoted young Communist in Stalin-era Russia, illustrated with dramatically lit spot art." —Publishers Weekly
"This brief novel gets at the heart of a society that asks its citizens, even its children, to report on relatives and friends. Appropriately menacing illustrations by first-time novelist Yelchin add a sinister tone." —The Horn Book, starred review