Sarah's Stars

John Wilson. Four Steps to Death
Kids Can Press $19.95 ISBN 1-55337-704-4 205 pg.

Reviewed by Melissa, Age 13

Waking to the sound of gunshot, or killing another human being, would be apart of everyday life for the characters in this novel. Conrad Zietsler, Sergei Illyich Andropov and Vasily Sarayev are fictional people brought to life as they fight the battle of Stalingrad. It is 1942, and Conrad is willing to do anything to win and wants to avenge the death of his father. Sergei is a young boy, not older than seven when the battle starts, and the bombings rain down on his home. He thinks it is all a game, until he is handed a rifle. Vasily is also fighting for his country. He joins the army, in an effort to win the great battle. The three stories come together in this novel, and are expressed through each point of view.

The reason that I most enjoyed this novel was because of the three different characters. Two were on opposite sides of the battle. This made it difficult for me to pin point the bad guy, because both sides had young men and women, fighting and dying for their country. It made the book different but interesting to read.

I would recommend this book for ages thirteen and up. It is a book meant for those willing to believe that this battle really happened, and that people really did fight that war. I found that reading about the three very different people in the same story gave the book a lot of appeal. It was a fascinating piece that will keep you turning pages.

Five out of five stars! Four Steps To Death fully deserves this title. I was dazzled by the way the different characters were brought together in the end, yet kept so far apart during the story.


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