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Little Bastards In Springtime

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The unflinching story of a boy who survives the siege of Sarajevo and immigrates to Toronto bearing the scars of war.

It's Spring of 1992. Jevrem Andric is eleven years old, and brutal civil war is erupting in Sarajevo. At first it's just boring, as kids shut in apartments run out of ways to entertain themselves. A few weeks later, boredom is a luxury. Hell has arrived. The
ebook, 416 pages
Published May 27th 2014 by HarperCollins Canada (first published May 16th 2014)
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Angela M
Jun 05, 2015 Angela M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Seige of Sarajevo for someone like me - it's impossible to comprehend why , impossible to comprehend what it was like to live through it and impossible to comprehend what it was like to survive it having lost your father , your brother , your sister . Katja Rudolph, although she herself did not live through this war depicts a beautiful and sad , yet hopeful story of a young boy wounded both physically and emotionally . I was held from the beginning by the beautiful prose even when the descri
Terri Jacobson
Jevrem Andric is 11 years old and caught in the siege of Sarajevo, in the former country of Yugoslavia. (If you are unfamiliar with this siege, the book does provide some background material. I'm quite interested in this historical time and have read a fair amount on the subject. An excellent example is The Cellist of Sarajevo. The siege of Sarajevo, from 1992-1996, is the longest military siege of a capital city in modern history; it lasted 1425 days.) Jevrem's mother is a concert pianist and h ...more
Mar 18, 2015 Regina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, netgalley
3.5 stars

Little Bastards in Springtime attracted me right away with its title. The novel that accompanies the title is also interesting and eye opening.

I guess it could be said that Little Bastards in Springtime is a coming of age novel and not your usual cutesy feel good one.

The first part starts with Jevrem when he is eleven years old and it’s springtime and civil war has erupted in Sarajevo, and then the next part is five years later, spring again, but in Toronto, Canada where has family has
Jun 06, 2014 Connie rated it really liked it
If the war in Yugoslavia seemed incomprehensible to you, this book explains the foreign forces causing neighbours and family members to turn on one another. It's also an excellent story about a teen who, 11-years-old at the start of the war, relocates with his mother and sister to the States and tries to make sense of what happened and how he should proceed in life.
Ali Drummond
Jun 19, 2014 Ali Drummond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intelligent, well-written and deeply moving, this powerful novel takes an unusually well-informed look at history, global politics and the Bosnian conflict. The story then narrows in on the effects of war on children, no matter where they might be from.
Donna McAllister
Aug 03, 2015 Donna McAllister rated it it was amazing
You do not need to read a review on this book. What you need to do is read it.
Shonna Froebel
Sep 11, 2014 Shonna Froebel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, fiction
This novel takes us from 1992 through 1998 in the world of Jevrem Andric. In the spring of 1992, Jevrem is eleven years old and living in Sarajevo with his parents, older brother Dusan, and younger twin sisters Aisha and Berina. His father is a journalist and his mother is a concert pianist. His father is Serbian and his mother is Croatian. His maternal grandmother, Baka, loves to tell him stories of her life as a partisan fighter in World War II and her subsequent years rebuilding the country. ...more
Jun 18, 2015 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very uneven book. The first part is moving and compelling, the story of Jevrem Andric caught up with his family in the Siege of Sarajevo. All the horrors of the war are seen through his eyes as the situation deteriorates and it is both an atmospheric and convincing account. The reader’s heart goes out to Jevrem as he tries to make sense of it all. After four years of loss and destruction, he emigrates with what remains of his family to Canada. But physical survival is not the same as ...more
Interesting book. Jevrem Andric survives the war in Sarajevo at age 11 and moves with what's left of his family to Toronto at age 16. He can't settled in but forms a group of other young people who have survived the war and they call themselves "The Bastards of Yugoslavia". They spend their time drinking, doing drugs and breaking into homes and stealing things. Jevrem is finally arrested and sent to jail where he begins his long road back to a more normal life. I'm not really giving away the ...more
World Literature Today
"Katja Rudolph’s Evergreen Award–nominated first novel follows the Serb-Croat Andric family—journalist father, pianist mother, teenage son, six-year-old twin daughters, and younger son, Jevrem, eleven—as the siege of Sarajevo destroys their happy lives, forcing them to flee to Toronto. Exploring how violence and diaspora shape youths who fight the status quo with their own misguided violence, Bastards promises a new thread in Balkan literature. But despite many lyrical passages, a solid plot ...more
I'm not sure if a book set in the 1990's can be considered historical fiction, but that's what I'm labeling it.

Jevrem grows up in the midst of the Bosnian War - where fear, violence and loss are a daily part of life. After his family loses almost everything, they relocate in Canada. However, it seems that the war molded Jevrem irrecoverably. Engaging in acts of violence for pure amusement, Jevrem becomes a criminal that cannot be controlled. Those who have read A Clockwork Orange will be remind
Alex Handyside
Apr 01, 2015 Alex Handyside rated it liked it
I wanted to like this.
You'd think the antics of an 11 year-old in pre-war Sarajevo would be interesting, but the first 1/3 of the book isn't. I almost dumped the book then. We learn about some interesting characters, but little else. So I persevered.
Then when war breaks out and just when it could start getting interesting, the author cuts it short! Arghh.
We resume the story a few years later when he's in a refugee gang in Toronto - again, too long & not very interesting (or likeable). It's o
Stepan Wood
Oct 09, 2014 Stepan Wood rated it it was amazing
A searing story of war, loss and the possibility of redemption. From a harrowing boyhood during the siege of Sarajevo, to a drugged, criminal adolescence in the St. Clair West neighbourhood of Toronto, to the horrors of a juvenile detention centre, to a cross-continent hitch-hike toward a new start, Katja Rudolph's first novel propels us relentlessly yet not hopelessly through one boy's personal experience of the disintegration of a cosmopolitan nation and his tentative, often misguided efforts ...more
Sep 01, 2016 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily by: Su Laine Varkey
Shelves: can-lit, world
I might not have picked this up myself, but read it when I received it as a Christmas gift a few weeks ago. I had read Lew MacKenzie's book "Peacekeeper" about his experiences with UNPROFOR back in the '90s and I was quite interested to read this fictional account of a boy in Sarajevo and his life as an immigrant to Canada after. His relationship with his grandmother and her storytelling was I found both enduring and compelling. And I especially enjoyed some of the characters he encountered in ...more
Mar 13, 2015 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Katja Rudoph's Little Bastards In Springtime is a book which has stayed with me. I became deeply connected to the characters and wondered about them when I wasn't reading the book. It was a brilliant story which played out through gesture, touch, taste, sound and visuals. I felt like I inhabited Jevrem's skin. The writing is strong and direct while being, at the same time, most tender. Some sentences are almost too beautiful to bear. Love, resilience, loyalty, survival. Big themes expressed ...more
Jul 08, 2015 Alison rated it liked it
It is funny how books can make you look back on life. I remember people talking about the war in Sarajevo but nothing about the why. This book made me think about why countries get involved in things and what happens afterwards.
I found the descriptions of life in Toronto interesting. I worked in the area that Jevrem lived in and could recognize some of the setting references. The idea of being able to zoom anywhere in the city amused me.
Interesting perspective of war told from an 11 year old's view. The effects it has on him as he grows through teenage years are vividly described. The first half of the book I really enjoyed the depth of the characters, and loved Baka. The second half I found tedious and disjointed...but maybe that was the intent?
May 05, 2015 Lucy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was gifted this book by the publisher as a galley copy and have only just gotten around to reading it. This is a wonderful window into the Bosnia/Serbian conflict. Well worth the read and will stick with you.
Shannon White
At times, this book felt raw and authentic however at many other times contrived and unrealistic. The story just didn't captivate me and often my attention waned. Timely subject matter -refugees, PTSD, etc.
Aug 21, 2015 Helena rated it really liked it
Pretty raw. Great book. My only complaint is that it starts to drag at the end and ends a bit flat. But the bulk of it is very compelling.
Jane rated it really liked it
Apr 29, 2016
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Dec 30, 2014
Michele rated it really liked it
Mar 31, 2015
Alissa Westmoreland
Alissa Westmoreland rated it it was amazing
Sep 16, 2016
Stephanie rated it really liked it
Jun 08, 2015
Cookie Wookie
Cookie Wookie rated it really liked it
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Jun 05, 2015
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Jennifer rated it really liked it
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Kathryne Cardwell
Kathryne Cardwell rated it really liked it
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