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The Impossible Journey (St. Petersburg #2)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  545 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
One Russian night in 1934, Marya and Georgi's parents disappear. Despite high risks, Katya and Misha had spoken against the government. The children, alone and desperate, fear the worst. Will they ever see their parents again?

But all it takes is one crumpled letter to give Marya and Georgi hope and send them on a dangerous mission to reunite their family. They must steal a
...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperCollins (first published January 7th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Bronwyn
Apr 15, 2011 Bronwyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
These books are awesome (both the first Angel on the Square book and this one)! I totally studied for my Russia test in 7th grade by re-reading these. And I got a really good grade too :D
Madeline Stone
Jun 12, 2009 Madeline Stone added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 8-12 year olds
Recommended to Madeline by: Russia Book Club
This series was a little bit below my reading level when I read it, but I still liked it. Reading these books is a great way to learn about the last days of the Czars and the takeover of the communists in Russia.
Cindi
Second in the series that starts with "Angel on the Square." Wonderful!

As I listen to this on CD, I re-realize that Gloria Whelan is my definite favorite children's author!!
Bambi
Oct 05, 2011 Bambi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Loved this book. Perserverance, eyes on the goal, survival. Families torn apart during Stalin's reign. Realizing good people still exist in the world, despite encounters with so many evil ones.
Magda
I couldn't say whether this was believable or unbelievable. It was certainly enjoyable, and I went and got two more in the series the next time I went to the library.
Kathy Bowman
Jun 29, 2017 Kathy Bowman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
My kids (10 & 7) enjoyed Angel on the Square enough that we are reading this book together. It's not quite as interesting to them, partially because the premise is a little unfathomable. That's not the fault of the author, just the fault of the times. I had a hard time explaining to them, and they had a hard time understanding, what an "enemy of the state" was, and how such simple things as having an aristocratic background, or a picture of the wrong people, or possessing the wrong books cou ...more
Shelli
Jun 24, 2017 Shelli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3.5 stars. Historical Fiction 1934 in Russia. So many ways we can compare what is happening during the Russian Revolution to other historical events at the same time. I learned a lot and felt it was sort of like Sign of the Beaver during the second half of the book... (granted Sign of the Beaver is about 50 years earlier...). Great book to discover a tundra and new geography focus... I did want to look up more information after reading the book. I read it thinking it would inform and c ...more
Diane
Jun 14, 2017 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
When Marya & Georgy's parents are arrested in Stalinist Russia, they go in search of them
Lisa
This story takes place in 1934 during the Stalin era of Soviet Russia, where people live in fear, spying on each other and being spied on themselves by the government/secret service. Katya (from Angel on the Square) has lost her farm, is now married, and has children. As part of the aristocracy (a.k.a. "the enemy of the people"), she is taken from her children and exiled to the stark Siberian wilderness, while her husband is forced to work in a Siberian coal mine under brutal conditions. Their t ...more
Michelle Isenhoff
Jan 16, 2013 Michelle Isenhoff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Comrade Sergei Kirov was killed on the first day of December. That same night my parents disappeared.”

It is 1934 and Kirov was the man competing with Joseph Stalin for control of Russia’s Communist Party. Stalin wanted no competition. So Kirov was conveniently assassinated, and in the name of justice hundreds, perhaps thousands of arrests were made, even thought the killer was already in custody. Those “suspects” weren’t really suspected in the murder at all. They were simply too outspoken agai
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emma grace
Jun 17, 2014 emma grace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
February 2010 review:

Marya and her brother Georgi live with their parents in Leningrad, the used to be St. Petersburg of Russia. Communism has Russia in a tight grip, and everyone is a suspect. But Marya and her family manage to live pretty normal lives; going to school on week days, and to church on Sundays. But all that changes when Marya and Georgi’s parents are accused for taking part in the murder of Stalin and are then taken away by the Soviet Secret Police. Marya and Georgi are able to st
...more
Audrey
This book continues the stories of the two main characters of the last book ( I am still wondering if Misha and Katya really were cousins). I like that continuity aspect, even though the narrative focus now shifts to their two children. It's incredible to consider these two books side by side and realize all that this generation went through.

The majority of the book details the survival of thirteen-year-old Marya and her seven-year-old brother Georgi as they set out across Siberia to find their
...more
Ava C
May 27, 2016 Ava C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The October Revolution in flipped all of Russia upside down. The poor were put in higher positions, and the higher were put in lower. Marya and Georgi's mother and father can recollect the times when their relatives were higher in power and were highly respected. Marya's mother tells stories of when she was Marya's age and was a companion to the tsarinas. Now anyone who was associated with the tsar and his family is spurned. When Marya and Georgi's parents are taken away by the secretive Russia ...more
Cookav
The October Revolution in flipped all of Russia upside down. The poor were put in higher positions, and the higher were put in lower. Marya and Georgi's mother and father can recollect the times when their relatives were higher in power and were highly respected. Marya's mother tells stories of when she was Marya's age and was a companion to the tsarinas. Now anyone who was associated with the tsar and his family is spurned. When Marya and Georgi's parents are taken away by the secretive Russian ...more
Beth
Jan 03, 2010 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whelan revisits the Russian Revolution in this tale of two children who undertake a journey across Russia to Siberia to be reunited with their parents who are arrested following a 1934 rebellion. Resourceful artistic Marya and her demanding young brother Georgi fend for themselves against corrupt adults including neighbors and acquaintances, but also find friends in unlikely places, including a tribe of indigenous peoples who herd reindeer. The underlying message of hope and freedom make the lar ...more
Don Weidinger
Sep 19, 2013 Don Weidinger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1934 St. Petersburg, rush to do little planning, Stalin stole land forced to state farm, teachers were aristocrats and enemies of people per Stalin, 4 girls executed for opposing revolution, Stalin Lenin as cat with smile, truth in paper produced angry response, pledge to uphold ideas of revolution or parents turned in by children via schools, no difference if innocent, the same people who tore children from parents want us to betray husband from wife and then say not good to break up family, fo ...more
Lisa
Jan 31, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
This is another fantastic book in Whelan's Russian historical fiction collection. It picks up the story of the two main characters from Angel in the Square and tells their story in Stalin's Russia. It captures well the historical accuracy of the time, at least from what I have read in my nonfiction readings about the Gulag. Since this is a children's book, it doesn't enter into gruesome detail but it does give enough to help a child understand the realities faced. There is also really good detai ...more
Marianne
Aug 04, 2009 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two children named Marya and Georgi suddenly find themselves alone after their parent's disappear. When Marya finds out where her Mother have been sent she wastes no time. Marya is in Russia and her Mother is is Sibira and has no idea where her father is. Her and her brother Georgi set to work at getting to Siberia. Many kind people help them along the way and the walk many miles. They ride on a train, on boats, and even Reindeer! They make friends with the natives. With the help of many they ma ...more
Sally
Nov 20, 2011 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the difficult years of the 1930's in Russia, the parents of two young children are taken to prison for disagreeing with those in charge and are then sent to Siberia and a coal mining camp. Marya is 13 and Georgi is 6 want to get to their mother who is in Siberia with a 3 year term. The children at least know where she is and want to get to her so Marya works out a plan that will take them from Leningrad to Siberia. If they walk--which is her plan--it will take them the full 3 months of summer ...more
Linda Lipko
This YA book is a the companion novel to Angel on the Square. It is snapshot of Russia in 1934 when fear and brutality ruled by the iron fist of Josef Stalin.

When her parents were taken in the night by the secret police, Marya knows this means they may never return. Learning that her mother was exiled to Sibera and her father was taken to be worked to death in the mines, Marya bravely takes her young brother on a walking journey from Leningrad to Siberia in search of their parents.

Rich in detail
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Awilma Acosta
Apr 22, 2010 Awilma Acosta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One night in 1934, Marya and Georgi's(two little kids who used to play a lot in the mud) parents disappeared. Even though there were a lot of hardships, Katya and Misha(Marya and Georgi's parents) had spoken against the government. Both kids, alone and scared,
feared the worst. But all it takes is one crumpled letter to give Marya and Georgi hope and send them on a dangerous mission to unite once again with their family. They must steal away in the dark of night, escape the city, and find passa
...more
Naomi Kenorak
Apr 18, 2013 Naomi Kenorak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, russian
The series is so engaging that you hardly realize how much you are learning about Russian history in the process. The second book, The Impossible Journey, finds the little girl in Angel on the Square all grown up, with 2 children of her own. When she and her husband are sent into exile in Siberia, the children determine to make the thousand-mile trek across Russia to find their parents. While the plot may lack some realism, the depiction of life under Stalin and the details of the trek and the c ...more
Dianne
Aug 11, 2012 Dianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
currently listening to on audio and loving it!
Do I believe children who's parents were arrested and sent to prison or to Siberia really run away from their "guardian" to search for their parents? The book was believeable and full of adventure and redemption as well as sadness (it was,of course, a sad, tragic time for the people living under Stalin's rule).
A wonderful story. Loved listening to it.
Molly Siegel
Jun 11, 2008 Molly Siegel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cultures
Although this is a companion to Angel on the Square, it is certainly not entirely necessary to read that one first. However, Angel on the Square is an excellent novel also so no reason not to read that one as well. In The Impossible Journey, Marya and her little brother Georgi must journey 1,000 miles to find their mother who has been exiled to Siberia. Their hope and courage show thtoughout the book as they push on towards their destination.
Amy Edwards
Jun 02, 2008 Amy Edwards rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My 9-year-old daughter & I are reading this together. It's a wonderful story of a girl coming of age and learning what the world is about and what she is truly capable of accomplishing. It also gave my daughter and me a great perspective on what people in countries that are not free experience and an appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy in this country.
Shelley
Jan 15, 2009 Shelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this would be a good one for older-elementary age girls. I can see myself liking this at that age. The main character is that age and undertakes a cross-country journey in communist Russia with her little brother in tow to find her parents in Siberia. The adventure and independence would have appealed to me at that age! FYI, this is a sequel to another excellent book.
Anajoy-rusticgirl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
R♥inie
Mar 19, 2016 R♥inie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I usually don't go for historical fiction books but since this was a pretty light read I decided to give it a go, and I must say I didn't regret it at all. The book has an easy to follow plot & relatable characters, fraught with realism in regard to emotions & historical details. I have reread it a few times and it has never bore me at all.
Dawn Roberts
This is a sequel to Angel on the Square, which I loved. I hoped it would pick up where Angel left off, following the main characters through post-revolution Russia. Instead, this one picks up with their children in 1934, when the parents get exiled by Stalin to Siberia. Still a good story, and an interesting perspective of Russia. Now on to #3, Burying the Sun.
Natalie
Dec 02, 2009 Natalie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Natalie by: no one
I liked this. It was sad that their parents got arrested, and a little girl had to take care of her little brother. They decide they need to find their parents. They are off on a long journey. On their journey they meet so many kind people! Maybe after all there are nice people in Russia. The encountered so many mean people before their journey. The setting is in Russia.
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Gloria Whelan is the best-selling author of many novels for young readers, including Homeless Bird, winner of the National Book Award; Friutlands: Louisa May Alcott Made Perfect; Angel on the Square and its companion, The Impossible Journey; Once on this Island, winner of the Great Lakes Book Award; Farewell to the Island; and Return to the Island. She lives with her husband, Joseph, in the woods ...more
More about Gloria Whelan...

Other Books in the Series

St. Petersburg (4 books)
  • Angel on the Square (Angel on the Square, #1)
  • Burying the Sun  (Angel on the Square, #3)
  • The Turning (Angel on the Square, #4)

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