Words On Fire

  • Type: Books
  • By: Jennifer Nielsen
  • Age Category: Children
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781338275476
  • Check Catalog

A young Lithuanian book smuggler defies the Russian Empire

During most of the 19th century, Lithuania was dominated by Russia.  Lithuanians were forced to speak Russian rather than their own language.  Books, magazines, and pamphlets printed in Lithuanian were illegal, and the teaching of Lithuanian history and folklore was banned.  All these efforts were part of an attempt to wipe out Lithuanian cultural identity and force people of that Baltic region to think of themselves as Russian.

This book tells the story of Audra, a preteen Lithuanian girl, who becomes a book smuggler after her parents are seized by the Russian authorities.  Her job is to help smuggle Lithuanian books in from East Prussia and distribute them to churches, homes, and secret libraries across Lithuania.  It’s very dangerous.  Audra must hide out in wintry forests, swim across freezing rivers, go without food for days, all the while staying one step ahead of the “Cossacks” intent on capturing her and her colleagues.

An action-packed work of fiction about a Baltic people whose history deserves more attention.