The Sniper by James Riordan

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Stalingrad snipers were legends in their time. Their patience, keen eyes, and ruthlessness helped win the Battle of Stalingrad and turn the tide of the Second World War. James Riordan visited Stalingrad in 1959 and several times later. In 2006 he met Tania Chernova, whose story was so fascinating that Riordan made her the heroine of this compelling novel. The year is 1942. Legendary sniper Vasily Zaitsev, who killed a record 242 Nazis, recruits Tania to seek out and shoot German officers. At first, she finds it almost impossible to kill. But when she discovers that her beloved grandparents, along with many of her friends, have been brutally murdered by invading Nazis, she vows to “break them like sticks.” Following her capture and daredevil escape, she leads a handpicked unit on what seems like a suicide mission — to seize Field Marshall Paulus, the Commander-in-Chief of the invading army. But Tania is no ordinary marksman. Author Riordan’s dramatic narrative and wealth of period detail make this story of one of the lesser-known episodes in World War II history a gripping one.

About James Riordan

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James Riordan travelled the world collecting folktales and published over thirty volumes of tales from different countries. The Twelve Labours of Hercules won the UK Reading Association Award 1998. He was Emeritus Professor at the University of Surry and Visiting Professor at the University of Worcester, as well as holding honorary degrees from Birmingham, London, Moscow and Grenoble. He regularly reviewed children's books for The Times., and his autobiography, Comrade Jim: the spy who played for Spartak, was published in 2008 by Fourth Estate.He also wrote ten novels for young people. His first, Sweet Clarinet, won the NASEN award in 1999 and was nominated for the Whitbread Prize in 1998. Match of Death won the South Lanarkshire Book Award in 2004, and The Gift was nominated for the NASEN award in 2006. He published a novel on slavery, Rebel Cargo, with Frances Lincoln in 2007.James Riordan died in 2012.
Published May 26, 2009 by Frances Lincoln Children's Books. 240 pages
Genres: History, War, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The Battle of Stalingrad changed the course of World War II—but at the cost of one million lives, more than any other battle in history.

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