Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tales of Priut Almus

Author: Robert Belenky, PHD
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: (April 23, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1440131511

Book Description:
Thirteen-year-old Serogia was thrown out of his house by his drunken mother after his father died. Eleven-year-old Anya doesn't have many friends and is always sad; when she looks in the mirror she sees an ugly girl. Her ten-year-old sister Sashinka is shy, tough and fun loving. Their only living relative is their drunken father.

These are just three of the children who were living at Pruit Almus, a children's shelter in St. Petersburg, Russia, when author Robert Belenky began his visits in 1998. He returned many times during the next ten years. In Tales of Pruit Almus he presents his interviews with children and staff as he participates in this humane and innovative shelter unusual in that it focused on preparing children to create and live in a democracy.

Finally, we meet Almus' founding director, enigmatic man of the theater, Mikhail Markarievich, who provided the courageous vision.

The fifth in a series of books focusing on raising children whose lives have not been easy, Tales of Pruit Almus describes how this home has become a monument to the spirited and humane ways to raise children who are in need. Pruit Almus is a model of what may be possible for the United States in the realm of education and child care.

My Review:
This amazing book is well-written and gives tremendous insight into the plight of the "throw-away" children of Russia. The format for the book is a series of stories and observations describing the author's interactions with the children and staff of Pruit Almus. It is a reading experience that will not soon be forgotten.

(Thanks to the author for my review copy.)

1 comment:

  1. I have this one to review and it is a topic I really enjoy reading about. I am excited to get to it and love seeing others who are reading it too!