Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens 2013

Starred Review from SoundCommentary

From the publisher:

Sasha Zaichik has known the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers since the age of six:

The Young Pioneer is devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism.

A Young Pioneer is a reliable comrade and always acts according to conscience.

A Young Pioneer has a right to criticize shortcomings.

Turetsky’s narration runs the range from the innocence of a 10 year old boy to the harshness of a Soviet interrogator... Turetsky manages to explore the emotions of a child whose world is turned upside down.
— Capitol Choices, Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens

But now that it is finally time to join the Young Pioneers, the day Sasha has awaited for so long, everything seems to go awry. He breaks a classmate's glasses with a snowball. He accidentally damages a bust of Stalin in the school hallway.  And worst of all, his father, the best Communist he knows, was arrested just last night.

Narrator Mark Turetsky promotes Sasha’s gradual enlightenment with his measured, crystal clear reading. Each character Turetsky portrays [...] comes alive.
— SoundReview Starred Review

This moving story of a ten-year-old boy's world shattering is masterful in its simplicity, powerful in its message, and heartbreaking in its plausibility.

Mark Turetsky infuses naïve optimism and youthfulness into the voice of Sasha, the unreliable narrator.
— AudioFile Magazine, July 2012