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Official Review: The Long Way Home by Stephanie Baudet

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Official Review: The Long Way Home by Stephanie Baudet

Post Number:#1 by Amagine
» 17 Apr 2017, 15:10

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Long Way Home" by Stephanie Baudet.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by Amagine
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Imagine you’re thirteen years old and you’re not sure if you’ll ever see your home again. A civil war has broken out in your country. Your mother sends you and your little brother away to safety with hundreds of other children and adults. You are always on the move, as the sight and smell of war stalks you. Hearing gun shots and seeing dead bodies lined up, barely phases you anymore. You’re constantly hungry, angry and sad. You want to protect your little brother, but you realize it is hard enough taking care of yourself.

Does this sound like a nightmare? This story is a reality for Nikolai Maninov in Stephanie Baudet’s The Long Way Home. The Long Way Home is a historical, YA novel that will leave every reader grateful to have a safe place to call home.

A Long Road to Home

The Long Way Home is loosely based off the true story of Riley H. Allen, a leader of the American Red Cross team, who helped bring hundreds of Russian children back home after the war. He is a character in the story, but the protagonist is Nikolai. The author writes a powerful narrative and the language is so descriptive that readers can visualize the suffering that Nikolai and the other children had to endure. From the first scene in the book, the author succeeded in setting a tragic tone that would pull at any reader’s heart strings. In the book, we see Nikolai forced to do many things to survive. He is forced to lie, steal and kill. At times, he displays a rather somber attitude towards his actions, “Stealing. Something we are taught is wrong from infancy. Now we steal or we die. That is the simple choice.

The plot is well paced and not hurried at all. The author takes her time as she allows readers to build a connection to the characters and witness their struggle to make it back home alive. There was also some historical content in the story, particularly about the American Red Cross. During the scenes, readers get to witness the development of the characters.

How the Story Shaped the Characters


We will never know how much this shaped out personalities and outlook on life.” These were the words spoken by Nikolai as he looked back on how much his experiences had changed him. With Nikolai, the author created a believable character who readers can relate too. He started off angry at the world and at his little brother for being so weak. He was also ashamed of his own weakness as he allowed himself to be bullied by the older kids. Over time, with every experience, readers watched him develop from a boy to a young man.

One part of Nikolai’s character that I think readers will find interesting is his love for ballet. At first, he is ashamed of it because ballet isn’t considered “masculine.” He later grows more confidence in himself as he stated, “To hell with it. Tell the world. I don’t care anymore. This is my ambition and I should be proud of it.” All the way to the end, Nikolai demonstrated his resilience and growth.

There are other notable characters such as his little brother, Anton, who started off being afraid, but found inner strength as well. Also, Mr. Riley Allen, who was the one who saved the children with his fierce determination and kindness.

Final Thoughts

If I had to give a negative, it would be that the structure of certain paragraphs was a little off at times. It was not enough to distract me from the story. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The plot was well thought out. The characters were believable and inspiring. If one isn’t inspired by Nikolai’s determination to survive, then perhaps his determination to dance ballet will win them over. This book is appropriate for ages 10-16, but I would recommend it to anyone. This is a book about courage, resilience and kindness. It is a must read for all.

******
The Long Way Home
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Re: Official Review: The Long Way Home by Stephanie Baudet

Post Number:#2 by greenstripedgiraffe
» 19 Apr 2017, 08:49

Wow - this sounds like an incredible book. Historical fiction is a great way to learn and connect with events from the past. I think I would not be able to read this without some serious emotional distress, particularly thinking of my own children. Thanks for the review! :tiphat:
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Re: Official Review: The Long Way Home by Stephanie Baudet

Post Number:#3 by bookowlie
» 19 Apr 2017, 09:11

Great review! I usually like historical fiction, but I'm not sure this book is my cup of tea. I would find it too disturbing to read about children's hardships.
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Re: Official Review: The Long Way Home by Stephanie Baudet

Post Number:#4 by kandscreeley
» 19 Apr 2017, 09:17

I think it would be interesting to learn a little more about this time period through a child's eyes. It's always good to get a different perspective on events. This sounds like a really good story. Thanks.
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Re: Official Review: The Long Way Home by Stephanie Baudet

Post Number:#5 by Shreyoshi Sen
» 19 Apr 2017, 09:42

I loved the way the review is written. It is quiet intriguing and I guess the book would be interesting too. Thanks for the review.
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Re: Official Review: The Long Way Home by Stephanie Baudet

Post Number:#6 by Amagine
» 19 Apr 2017, 09:52

Thank you for reading you guys! :romance-smileyheart:

Also, yes, it is a very emotional read. No one likes to think about starving children in the world, sadly it is a horrible reality. I liked the fact that the book promoted the good deeds or Mr. Allen and the ARC. It makes you more appreciative of the people and organizations who are trying to make a positive difference in our world.

-- 19 Apr 2017, 10:05 --

Shreyoshi Sen wrote:I loved the way the review is written. It is quiet intriguing and I guess the book would be interesting too. Thanks for the review.


Thanks! I was trying something different, but the editors didn't like it much. :text-lol:

So I probably won't do it again.
"You have to write the book that wants to be written. If the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children." -Madeleine L'Engle
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