It's 1945, and even though World War II has ended, there is still bad blood between Germans and Russians. Many Russians even believe that owning a German Shepherd dog is the same as being a traitor to Russia. If you're caught with a German Shepherd you could be sent to a labor camps and never seen again.
One day, while walking through the forest, Mikhail is shocked to stumble upon a badly injured man and his German Shepherd. After bringing the dog, called Zasha, and the man back to his house, Mikhail recognizes what a special dog she is. She might be the only German Shepherd in all of Russia!
When Zasha's owner dies, Mikhail is determined to keep Zasha at all costs. There are dangerous men who steal dogs from their owners and sell them to the highest bidder. And there are also those who kill German Shepherds for revenge. But that will never happen to Zasha! Mikhail and his family find the perfect hiding spot for her and train her not to bark in case unwelcome visitors come to their house.
But what happens when Mikhail's nosy classmate Katia comes to their house? She thinks of herself as a reporter and has come to the conclusion that Mikhail and his family own a dog. Will Katia inform the town and the police about Zasha's existence?
If you own a dog, or hope to have one someday, read the inspirational tale of Mikhail and his dog in Saving Zasha by Randi Barrow.
—Jen, Scholastic Booktalker