Breaking Stalin's Nose
If you have a minute—1:23 to be exact—watch this video of Eugene Yelchin talking about growing up in the Soviet Union and the tough choice he had to make. Yelchin’s 2012 Newbery Honor novel BREAKING STALIN’S NOSE is partially based on his own childhood.
The book begins with a boy’s letter to Comrade Stalin telling the Soviet leader his greatest dream--to join the Young Soviet Pioneers.
Of course, as seems to happen to main characters, the boy Sasha runs into trouble reaching his dream. He comes face to face with a hard, life-altering choice and in that choice defines himself.
Hard choices come with a cost. And though our own may not be as pricey as Sasha’s or Eugene Yelchin’s, they still demand courage.
I think of my daughter making the choice to pursue a career in screenwriting.
As she was going off to college to major in film, I remember speaking with the mother of one of her friends. The friend had also considered majoring in the arts, but her mother told me she had convinced the girl to major in business.
Perhaps that girl now has a good paying job and flew home for Thanksgiving with her family, while my daughter is twelve-hundred miles away in Los Angeles, working the holiday at a restaurant, sharing a bedroom with a friend to save on rent, and living daily in uncertainty about her future as a screenwriter. Sure, people all over the world are facing decisions that will cost them much more. But I am inspired by my daughter’s courage and willingness to bear the cost of following her heart.
What about you? Share whose courage fills your heart and makes you want to live with more authenticity, or tell me about a life-altering choice you’ve made.
I'm fascinated to discover little-known history, stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
I also post here about my books and feature other authors and their books on compelling and important historical topics.
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