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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

We study the history of the city with the kids, and discuss books about the family with the teenagers.

Every weekend publishes tips from the staff of Moscow reading rooms. The head of library number 102 Elena Korneeva advises to acquaint kids with the poems of Natalia Konchalovskaya, older children – with the novel that made the American writer Mary Dodge famous, and teenagers – with Suzanne Kuleshova’s book about St. Petersburg.


“Our Ancient Capital” by Natalia Konchalovskaya

I believe that children should be taught to good literature as early as possible, so I recommend the book Our Ancient Capital. It was released in 1947 to mark the 800th anniversary of Moscow. The author of the book, Natalia Konchalovskaya, belongs to a very famous family. Her grandfather was the painter Vasily Surikov, her father was the People’s Artist of the RSFSR Pyotr Konchalovsky, and her husband was the writer and poet Sergei Mikhalkov.

In a light poetic form, Konchalovskaya’s book tells about the most important historical events of the pre-Petrine era. The city’s past is described as accurately as possible and is understandable for the youngest readers. The historical knowledge gained in the process of reading will be useful to children in the future. The book captivates from the first lines – “Where is Moscow the capital now, there used to be a beast and a bird” – and does not allow one to be distracted until the very end.

Older guys

“House of Brave Cowards” by Yuri Ermolaev

The main character of this serious and kind book, written in 1975, is Nadia Ermakova. A cheerful and intelligent girl is forced to stay at home all day – after a serious illness suffered in childhood, she does not walk. Nadia dreams of meeting a wizard who would miraculously save her from her illness. Such a person will meet her. True, he will not have a magic wand, and he will save it not with spells, but with a scientific method.

Nadya becomes a patient of a hospital where a talented innovative surgeon works with children. Its prototype was the Soviet orthopedic surgeon Gavriil Ilizarov, who developed new methods of treating fractures. The compression-distraction apparatus invented by him in 1951 is still used in surgery.

If you like this book, you can read other works by Yuri Ermolaev: “A drop of tar and half a bag of joy”, “A secret for the whole world”, “About two young brave men and a miracle doctor” and others.

“Silver Skates” by Mary Dodge

Great book for family reading and discussion. The American writer Mary Dodge wrote it in 1865, and it immediately became a hit with young readers. And the book began with the stories that early widowed Mrs. Dodge told her sons every evening. All her stories unfolded in the Netherlands – she adored this country, read a lot about it, knew everything about the customs and traditions of its inhabitants.

The main characters of the book are Hans Brinker and his younger sister Gretel. They really want to take part in speed skating. The matter is complicated by the fact that they are from a poor family and can only train on home-made skates, while there are more wealthy peers around them. The more attractive the prize looks for the guys – beautiful silver skates.

The author compares the plight of poor children to the carefree life of boys and girls from wealthy families. But we must pay tribute to Hans and Gretel: despite all the trials, they remain kind, friendly, sympathetic. In the finale, Mary Dodge rewards her little heroes and want leaves their home. How does this happen? Read it yourself!


“The Story of a Red-haired Girl” by Lydia Budogoska

You get sympathy for the main character Eve at first sight: she has beautiful red hair, restless character, sharp mind. Eve experiences first love, betrayal, begins to think about the meaning of life. But she goes home reluctantly – a strict father is waiting for her there, who keeps his daughter in tight-knit gloves. Lydia Budogovskaya copied this hero from her own father. The action takes place in a small town on the Kama River, where the writer graduated from high school. The Tale of a Red-Haired Girl, first published in 1929, was the writer’s debut.

The book is fascinating, it is difficult to tear yourself away from it. Some pages are impossible to read without feeling a lump in the throat, while the rest are full of bright events, humor and kindness.

“Liteiny Bridge” by Suzanne Kuleshova

The book perfectly conveys the special atmosphere and attraction of St. Petersburg: picturesque fogs and rains, a mixture of mysticism and reality. The book is very multifaceted, in it you can find topics for both disputes and for reflection on your own.

At the center of events are ninth-grade friends from the school for gifted children. Liza adores Dostoevsky and wants to become a writer herself, Artyom can boast of an ideal memory, and Kirill is a young mathematical genius. The most important thing for them is to build relationships with each other and the world around them. It can be difficult at 16.

Suzanna Kuleshova is well versed in the psychology of adolescents – for some time she worked as a teacher in a private school, as a teacher in children’s development centers. In 2016, she received a special prize from the youth jury of the V International Competition named after Sergei Mikhalkov for the Liteiny Bridge.

“TS Garden” Maria Boteva

This is a book about love for the homeland, family and country. The story is told from the perspective of a 12-year-old girl Sveta. In the attic of her old house, together with her brothers, she finds a picture: their grandfather Trofim Savoskin, who at that time was only 19 years old, poses next to the Red Banner flying over the Reichstag. Of course, this hero has a real historical prototype. The author Maria Boteva said that while working on the book, she thought about the Red Army soldier Grigory Bulatov.

The guys wonder why nothing is said about their grandfather in the history books, because he is a real hero. And why didn’t he talk about his military prowess? The Savoskin family undertakes the restoration of historical justice.

More great books, verified by readers of children’s libraries and their staff, – in the rubric Librarian Tips.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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