Night Witches

224p. ebook available. Scholastic. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545682985.
Gr 7 Up—Lasky's latest historical fiction novel flies readers to World War II Europe on a life-threatening adventure. After her mother dies in their Stalingrad apartment from a Nazi sniper shot, 16-year-old Valya is determined to join her sister Tatyana in the Soviet Union's only all-female flight team, the 588th Night Bombing Regiment, better known as the Night Witches. Despite her age, Valya joins the Soviet war effort to thwart the Nazis in every possible way, including spending time in the trenches behind a machine gun. Valya finally makes it to the hidden Night Witch flight base, but her dream is shattered when she finds out that she must work on the ground crew before she is allowed to fly. When Tatyana disappears during one of her flights, it is a matter of when, rather than whether, Valya should risk her own life to rescue her sister. Although Valya's quick rise in the ranks is dubious, it keeps the story moving without too much lag time. Lasky effectively draws readers into a little-told facet of World War II history. There are a few instances of coarse language.
VERDICT A strong addition to middle and high school historical fiction collections.

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