Blood Red Snow White

By: Marcus Sedgwick

Leaving an unhappy marriage, journalist Arthur Ransome moves to Russia and gets caught in the Bolshevik revolution.

ISBN: 9781626725478

JLG Release: Dec 2016


Sensitive Areas: Mention of prostitution, Sexual themes
Topics: Arthur Ransome (1884–1967) , Authors , Love , Fairy tales , Soviet Union (1917–1921) , Revolution

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
A historical novel based on the life of British author and journalist Arthur Ransome that is told in three distinct styles, each of which reflects an aspect of Ransome’s career. It opens in the style of a fairy tale, brilliantly setting the scene in Saint Petersburg in 1913, when the bright, impetuous young writer
[STARRED REVIEW]
A historical novel based on the life of British author and journalist Arthur Ransome that is told in three distinct styles, each of which reflects an aspect of Ransome’s career. It opens in the style of a fairy tale, brilliantly setting the scene in Saint Petersburg in 1913, when the bright, impetuous young writer leaves his wife and daughter in England, teaches himself Russian, and sets about collecting the stories that appear in his first book, Old Peter’s Russian Tales, published in 1916. But by then, everything had changed. “The time for princes and tsars and grand duchesses and especially holy madmen was gone. In its place came a world of war and revolution, of tanks and telephones, of murder and assassination.” Here the narrative shifts and uses flashbacks and the third person to report the events of the Russian Revolution and the civil war that followed back to the British press. Ransome becomes romantically involved with Evgenia, Trotsky’s personal secretary, and is caught up in the dangerous game of political intrigue and information exchange. He becomes a pawn in the ongoing power struggle, and his every move is suspect, but he wants only to get himself and Evgenia safely out of the country. The narrative shifts to Arthur’s first-person account of getting out and back into Russia and escaping with his beloved. An author’s note, a time line, and Secret Service files are appended to inform readers about facts behind the spy thriller elements. VERDICT This well-written tale might be a hard sell to a lot of teens, but those who are fans of Sedgwick’s earlier titles, history buffs, and readers of Ransome’s classic “Swallows and Amazons” adventures will be intrigued by this colorful and multilayered work.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal

Horn Book

Arthur Ransome was not just the real-life author of the classic Swallows and Amazons novels; he was also a collector of Russian fairy tales and a journalist— avocations that led to his position with Britain’s Daily News as Russian correspondent, from 1913 throughout the Revolution. In 2005, Britain’s National Archives relea Arthur Ransome was not just the real-life author of the classic Swallows and Amazons novels; he was also a collector of Russian fairy tales and a journalist— avocations that led to his position with Britain’s Daily News as Russian correspondent, from 1913 throughout the Revolution. In 2005, Britain’s National Archives released files showing that Ransome was suspected to be a Bolshevik sympathizer and double agent. Bravely and boldly, Sedgwick fictionalizes Ransome’s story into a romance and Bildungsroman, a fairy tale and a novel of politics and suspense, pulling them together with a narrative voice that is authoritative, warm-hearted, and sometimes mysteriously categorical (“there can be no magic by daylight . . . fairy tales cannot live in the modern world of color”). Shifts in tense and perspective, along with the ample use of flashback, bring their challenges but in effect launch the reader right into Ransome’s own passion and confusion—whether in relation to his love, Evgenia (who was Trotsky’s secretary), or to the political intrigue and power-mongering that both sustained and threatened him. Elegiac and impressionistic, this stylized account evokes a historical moment even as it celebrates the complicated past of a classic children’s author. deirdre f. baker

Book Details

ISBN

9781626725478

First Release

December 2016

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

320

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.4; Points: 9;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.5; Points: 15;

Lexile

Level 840L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Roaring Brook

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Mention of prostitution, Sexual themes

Topics

Arthur Ransome (1884–1967), Authors, Love, Fairy tales, Soviet Union (1917–1921), Revolution,

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