The Blackbird Girls

by Anne Blankman Year Published: 2020 Historical Fiction

On a spring morning in 1986, neighbors Valentina
Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry
red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where
their fathers work--Chernobyl--has exploded. Before
they know it, the two girls, who've always been
enemies, find themselves on a train bound for
Leningrad to stay with Valentina's estranged
grandmother, Rita Grigorievna.

In 1941 Rifka must flee Kiev before the Germans
arrive. Her journey is harrowing and fraught with
danger because Germans and Russians alike will
revile her for her Jewish blood.

In both time periods, the girls must learn who to trust
and how to have hope in the midst of horrible events.