Stalingrad snipers were a legend in their time. Their patience, keen eyes and ruthlessness helped win the Battle of Stalingrad and turn the tide of the Second World War. This is the true story of a teenage sniper recruited in 1942 by Vasily Zaitsev to seek out and shoot German officers. To begin with, the youngster finds it almost impossible to kill, but after a shocking discovery, goes on to 'snap as many as 84 German sticks', and following capture and a daredevil escape, leads a handpicked unit on a hazardous mission - to seize Field Marshall Paulus, the Commander-in-Chief of the invading army. But this sniper is no ordinary marksman...The author first visited Stalingrad in 1959, and made subsequent visits in 1963 and, most recently, in 2006, when he met Tania Chernova, the heroine of this novel. Having studied Russian in Birmingham and Moscow, James Riordan lived, worked and travelled extensively in Russia for five years, and has presented several BBC radio programmes on Russia. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Russian at the University of Surrey.
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(198mm x 129mm x 17mm)
Frances Lincoln Childrens Books
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd
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Author Biography - James Riordan
James Riordan travelled the world collecting folktales and published over thirty volumes of tales from different countries. The Twelve Labours of Hercules won the UK Reading Association Award 1998. He was Emeritus Professor at the University of Surry and Visiting Professor at the University of Worcester, as well as holding honorary degrees from Birmingham, London, Moscow and Grenoble. He regularly reviewed children's books for The Times., and his autobiography, Comrade Jim: the spy who played for Spartak, was published in 2008 by Fourth Estate. He also wrote ten novels for young people. His first, Sweet Clarinet, won the NASEN award in 1999 and was nominated for the Whitbread Prize in 1998. Match of Death won the South Lanarkshire Book Award in 2004, and The Gift was nominated for the NASEN award in 2006. He published a novel on slavery, Rebel Cargo, with Frances Lincoln in 2007. James Riordan died in 2012.