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Finding Zasha (Zasha #1)
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Finding Zasha

(Zasha #1)

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4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,025 ratings  ·  149 reviews
Randi Barrow is back with another gripping heroic World War II story about a boy and his best friend, a German shepherd!

In 1941, the Germans began the long, bloody siege on Leningrad. During the chaos, twelve-year-old Ivan is sent to live with relatives when his mother's job is moved to the mountains. But it is a long and dangerous journey to get out of Leningrad. After se
...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Scholastic Press (first published December 1st 2012)
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Jack It will make sense because even though she wrote Saving Zasha first, Finding Zasha takes place before Saving Zasha.
Jack it is a amazing book and i loved and i would definitely suggest it

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4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,025 ratings  ·  149 reviews


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Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Feb 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: world-war-2
Of course, after reading Saving Zasha, we all wondered where she really came from and who was the German soldier she was with. Well, Randi Barrow has written a prequel that pretty much answers those two questions.

Finding Zasha begins with the September 1941 Siege of Leningrad. When German soldiers surround the city and cut off all supply lines, life becomes more difficult for everyone living in Leningrad, including Ivan, 12, and his mother, a factory worker. There is never enough food or heat an
...more
Erin Thomas
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Spoilers are in the questions at the bottom.

Barrow, Randi. (2013). Finding Zasha. New York: Scholastic Inc. [Historical Fiction: Interest Level 5-7, Reading Level 6]

In this four part prequel to Saving Zasha, 12-year-old Ivan’s world changed the day Leningrad, his home, was seized by the Germans during WWII in 1941. During these horrible times, Ivan was sent to live with his relative, Uncle Boris, when his mom had to work in a factory outside of the city. After the dangerous journey he had to tak
...more
Kim Savage
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really good historical fiction book recommended to me by my 4th grade granddaughter. Dog and boy story in the backdrop of WWII between Russia and Germany.
Ms. Yingling
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This prequel to Saving Zasha recounts the story of Ivan, who is living in an apartment in Leningrad with his mother. When the city is bombed, a neighbor comes to live with them, and Auntie, who has lived through the revolution, shows Ivan many tricks that he needs to survive. She has hoarded food under floorboards, has rubles stuffed into table legs, and is unemotional about burning her furniture and books for fuel when times get tough. When Ivan's mother's job in a factory gets moved to another ...more
C.C. Thomas
It's hard to tell if you should read this one first or not. It's a prequel to Saving Zasha, although Zasha also gets saved in this one. Troublesome dog, but worth it.

The story takes place during WWII in Russia. It is a unique perspective of the war as the cities were essentially frozen by the war and the weather--cities left to fend for themselves for the creature comforts of warmth and food as nothing can get past the front lines and nobody is allowed to leave. Ivan,the main character, and his
...more
Stephanie
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a powerful book about a boy who wants to do what he can for his people. Ivan has to grow up quickly, but he faces each challenge with bravery. The characters in the story are all well-developed, and I can easily picture them. This book deals with World War II and the effects that it had on the residents of Russia. Reading about Ivan’s drive to get his homeland back and the courageous acts he takes part in to help others makes this a great book for anyone in fifth and older. The details o ...more
Sofia
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a touching story about World War II. A boy fights for him life and for lives of others to save a dog's life, and risking his own life for it. This book is one of my most favorite books. Although it is historical fiction, it still was very touching. The beginning of the book grabs your attention by (Spoiler) showing 3 boys playing around, but that is only mentioned after, but the way it's written it seems real. It is very action-filled and shows the story of World War II in a fiction ...more
Kristen
May 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed Saving Zasha, but this prequel was a bit of a disappointment. First of all--the dogs played a very small role, and while I appreciate good war fiction (which is why I'm giving this 3 stars instead of 2), I really sat down to read this expecting to get the story of Zasha's background. Really what we get is the story of Ivan, a Russian boy forced to play music for a vicious German officer. Zasha and the other puppy, Thor, are more of a side story. And even more disappointing is th ...more
Tracy
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful gem "Finding Zasha" turned out to be. I was drawn to the book, because my German Shepherd's name is "Sasha" and the story sounded interesting. The story is about a 12 year old boy who lives with his mother in 1941 Lenigrad when the Nazis begin to occupy the city. The boy evacuates with his "Auntie" while his mother is sent to work in the factories being moved to the mountains. The boy arrives at a small village, where he encounters an evil Nazi colonel who has two German Shepher ...more
Eden Grey
Jul 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: royal_july_2013
After escaping to the countryside from the German raid on Leningrad on September 8, 1941 Ivan joins a resistance group. When he is ordered to play his concertina at Nazi headquarters he takes the opportunity to fight back by smuggling out two German Shepherd puppies, in training to hunt Russians. Ivan must escape and hide the dogs from the brutal Major Recht. He is later forced to decide between aiding the resistance, saving himself and one puppy named Thor, or going after the lost puppy, the ti ...more
Peggy
Ivan escapes the siege of Leningrad to find himself torn from his new home in the country and forced to play the concertina for a cruel German Major. When Ivan realizes that the 2 puppies he has been taking care of for the Major will be used to hunt and kill Russians, he knows that he must escape and take the dogs with him. Plenty of action and suspense, very realistic characters and a story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked reading a WWII story from a Russian perspective.
Lani
Oct 08, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this book but it was alittle boring at the beginning and it really only
Got good close to the end and it took him so long to make his move
Ethan
Mar 23, 2018 is currently reading it
This book was ok. It wasnt my favorite but it wasnt bad. I really thought it described very well how the lives of the people who lived during this time was. I wish it was a more action packed book with other cool stuff but it was good.
Diane
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
"If we lose our humanity during the fight, then we have lost everything."

Ivan and his mother live in Leningrad. With his father gone and his mother working 11 hours a day in a factory, Ivan and his friends Alik and Misha enjoy their sense of freedom. "Life had never been more exciting than it was since the war began three months ago." After all, school had been suspended. How lucky was that?

But everything changes on September 8, 1941. The war suddenly becomes very real with a lack of food and ot
...more
Margo Tanenbaum
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Author Randi Barrow's debut novel, Saving Zasha, was one of my favorite historical fiction titles of 2011, and was recognized with many honors. Not only was it terrific historical fiction, it was a great dog story, one that could appeal equally to both boys and girls. I was therefore excited to read her newest novel, Finding Zasha, a prequel to Saving Zasha.

Set in the middle of World War II Russia, Finding Zasha is another page-turner, filled with adventure, danger, and yes, adorable German she
...more
Bailey Vaughan
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angie
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Ivan is a 12 year old boy living in Leningrad when the Germans start bombing the city during WWII. Soon the city is cut off and supplies are running out. People are starving and freezing every day. Ivan lives with his mother in an apartment building in the city. Their upstairs neighbor Auntie Vera moves in with them when her apartment is damaged during a bombing. Auntie starts teaching Ivan all about how to survive during wartime, lessons she learned during WWI. Soon Auntie and Ivan are going to ...more
Grace
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read Finding Zasha by Randi borrow. I enjoyed this book because the author writes it like you are living in that time. The time in this book is 1941 at the time of world war two with the German war and Hitler. The town a boy named Ivan and his mother and aunt live in is called Leningrad and the town is under attack and Ivan and his aunt have to leave and they might never see Ivan's mother again because his mother's factory has to be moved to a place where the army cannot get to and Ivan cannot ...more
Hilary
May 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Barrow’s debut novel, “Saving Sasha” (2011), was a compelling historical fiction novel/dog story and won many honors. “Finding Zasha,” is the prequel to that book, and it delivers another exciting story set in the middle of World War II Russia.

Ivan lives in Leningrad with his mother. He loves music and has formed an ensemble in which he sings and plays the concertina. When the Germans lay siege to the city, Ivan’s mother sends the 12-year-old on a hazardous trek to stay with a relative in the c
...more
Dylan Witzig
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Finding Zasha was about how a teenage boy, Ivan, had to leave his family and go to his uncles house due to the Germans bombing their home. On his journey he grew stronger both physically and mentally. He had to cross a frozen over lake and risk never seeing his family ever again. Instead of going straight to his uncles house, he went to his aunts friends house for a while. Him, his aunt, and her friend were hiding in their house and then Ivan asked if he could play his concertina. About an hour ...more
Jelena
Nov 28, 2015 added it
This is to saving Zasha the story of Ivan, who is living in an apartment in Leningrad with his mother. When the city got bombed, a neighbor comes to live with them, and Auntie, who has lived through the revolution, shows Ivan many tricks that he needs to survive. She has hoarded food under floorboards, has rubles stuffed into table legs, and does not care about burning her furniture and books for fuel when times get tough. When Ivan's mother's job in a factory gets moved to another city, Ivan an ...more
Betsy
When the story opens, 12-year-old Ivan is living with his mother in an apartment in Leningrad as the famous siege of Leningrad begins. Ivan and his older neighbor (an "aunt") flee the city on a dangerous journey which involved crossing a iced-over river, catching a ride with a stranger, and showing up unannounced at a distant relative's house. Once they arrive in their new rural town, Ivan quickly makes friends with the local resistance fighters and joins them--none too soon, it turns out, becau ...more
Waverley A
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When Mrs. Oducayen (my 6th grade teacher) talked about Saving Zasha during the last 10 minutes of homeroom on a Wedsnday, I was interested in reading it. I went to the classroom library, and saw Saving Zasha. But next to Saving Zasha, I found what turned out to be the prequel of it, which is Finding Zasha.
Finding Zasha turned out to be a good book that left me hanging at the end. The main character, Ivan, is living in Lenigrad when the Germans strike. Ivan's mom tells him to go to Vinlov with
...more
Khalid Halabi
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In “Finding Zasha”, a boy must raise German Sheppards to save his family. The book takes place during World War 2, where Germany is attacking Russia . The boy fled with his aunt of sorts from Leningrad to the countryside. He must raise the German officer's dog’s to save his family.
I would say that this book was written very well. The author had made the trips that the boy took very detailed which is appreciated, as most of the book is set during the boy’s attempts to raise the dogs. The abundan
...more
Barbara
Twelve-year-old Ivan Savicheva and his mother must take separate paths from the home in Leningrad in 1941. The Germans' continual bombing of the city and their blockade has caused much food deprivation. When his mother is sent to another locationto continue factory work, Ivan cannot go with her, and travels to his uncle's farm. Before he can reach the rural area, though, he stays with the family of his former neighbor and becomes involved in the partisan movement to fight against the Nazis. A ch ...more
Jacob
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
You wouldn't think that one boy can change the fate of a war. But in "Finding Zasha" Ivan did just that. The author, Randi Barrow made this book a hit from the start to the finish. The author did a very good job at making it so that the reader doesn't want to stop reading until it's done. The book had a lots of detail that painted a vivid picture of wartime and all the struggles that people had to go through during World War II.
This is one of my top three historical fiction books that I have
...more
Devin Smith
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Finding Zasha is a great book about a boy named Ivan. He is forced to leave his mother and escape from his home in Leningrad. Ivan and Aunty think that they will be safe in the countryside, but the Nazi soldiers were marching on Russia. In the new little town he is staying in he meets a new friend named Polina and she is actually a partisans so he became one as well.

One afternoon a man came down the road and told them Nazis were coming five miles back. Everyone started to prepare themselves for
...more
Tara Manna
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was such a great story, but I don't think my fourth grader understood all that was happening. I don't think she understood the Russian involvement of WWII. This would be a really good book for a sixth grader, who has a little background on the war. the only reason we read it was because it is on the SC nominee books that the kids have to read for an award.

I found the book to be quite interesting and compelling. I love the way it was written. I love the character development and character in
...more
Miss Amanda
gr 5-8 335 pgs



1941, Leningrad / 1945 Russian countryside. When the siege of Leningrad begins, 12 year old Ivan must learn to be strong as daily life becomes more and more difficult. When her job forces his mother to relocate to the Ural Mountains without him, Ivan is sent, along with his neighbor, along the ice road the the countryside to stay with his uncle. Along the way, Ivan stays in a small village and is there when the Germans occupy it. Ivan is forced to play his concertina for the Nazi c
...more
Steven Cockrell
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Finding Zasha is a fantastic book that changes my perspective of people in Russia during the Holocaust. This book has the perfect combo of action and adventure. I recommend this book to people who have a passion in dogs and loves to learn about the Holocaust. A young teen, Ivan, faced many challenges such as his mother moving, but he overcame those challenges. Ivan had a rough life when his house was bombed and had to travel 20 miles across a frozen lake during the winter. Ivan later learned how ...more
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I started my working life as an adoption attorney. After twenty years I was able to begin writing full time. My first two books were historical fiction for middle grade kids. I've expanded into adult fiction with Chasing the Beatles. It was great fun to write, and I'm thrilled with the response I'm getting from readers. My love of music, and the Beatles in particular, helped inspire this book. And ...more

Other books in the series

Zasha (2 books)
  • Saving Zasha (Zasha #2)