Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin shows the life of one boy in Communist Russia. Sasha Zaichik is anxious to join the Soviet Young Pioneers and has known his rules since he was very young. However, on the day when his dream is to be realized things don't go at all as planned. The night before Sasha's father is arrested, and when a string of events happen at school that cause the students to point fingers of blame at each other it is obvious that Sasha's world - everything he believed in-isn't as wonderful as he once thought.
While this book is about Stalin era Russia, something I am interested in, I am not sure my elementary students would have enough background knowledge to understand the idea of Communism and the way in which it failed Sasha. Accompanying illustrations help tell the story, a fast read, and the first I have encountered written for tween readers.