The Red Shoe

the-red-shoeAs many of you may know, the Cold War was a time of tension and hostility between the Communists and non-Communist countries (Western bloc and Eastern bloc) . The dates of when this war started are actually still unsure. While most historians traces the Cold War’s beginning to the end of World War II, others state its origin was closer to the years following World War I.

The Red Shoe by Ursula Dubosarsky takes place in Sydney, Australia, April 1954 ( during the Cold War), at a time of a famous political scandal in Australian history known as The Petrov Affair.

I had no idea what the Petrov Affair was when I bought the book. Actually, the fact that I knew so little about a famous political scandal is the reason I made the purchase.

When I received The Red Shoe, I was surprised to see the size of it. It’s a teeny, tiny book of under 200 pages. I soon understood that this was, in fact, a children’s book.

Though I was expecting something a bit more elaborate , I enjoyed the The Red Shoe. Putting myself in a child’s mindset, I thought it was a good read about Matilda and her sisters, living life as it was during the Cold War. On top of Matilda’s troubles at home, we also come to realize that a Russian spy defection is taking place next door to her.

Ursula does a wonderful job putting together a children’s novel that explains a complex event in a simple matter. Alternating between story and newspaper clippings, she succeeds in bringing the event to life.

Although the story wasn’t what I expected, I thoroughly enjoyed The Red Shoe. It’s a beautiful novel about a troubled family during hard times.

-Athena

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