THE RAVEN’S CHILDREN by Yulia Yakovleva


raven's children

Leningrad, 1938.

When Shura and Tanya’s parents and little brother suddenly disappear in the middle of the night, it’s rumoured that they have been taken by the mysterious Black Raven – and that their parents were spies.

Tanya and Shura are determined to find their family – and so Shura decides to hand himself in to the Raven. He is taken to the Grey House, where everyone is given a new name and a set of grey clothes, and everyone seems to forget their families and who they really are.

Now Shura must do everything he can to cling on to his memories, and to escape…


Author: Yulia Yakovleva

Translator: Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

Illustrator: Lauren O’Hara

Original language: Russian

Published by Puffin Books, 6 September 2018

The Raven’s Children was one of four winning titles in the 2017 round of Book Trust’s In Other Words project to promote children’s literature in translation.

This gripping, fantastical novel sensitively presents the fear and suspicion of Stalin’s terror for young readers, but it will also appeal to older readers especially anyone who wants to know more about Russian/Soviet history. It is aimed at readers aged 9+ and has been described as “powerful historical fiction for fans of The Silver Sword and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.”

Read more about this magical, creepy story on the Puffin Books website and in the reviews below.


* Children’s book of the week * July 2018 – Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times


* Interview with Yulia Yakovleva about The Leningrad Tales series (The Raven’s Children is the first in this five-part series) at Papmambook

* Interview with translator Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp at the Federation for Children’s Book Groups blog about translating The Raven’s Children and Apple Cake and Baklava – two novels for children (9+) that touch on traumatic events in history from a child’s perspective.