When the Line Between Fiction and Reality Blurs

Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief

Sandi Parsons
Midform

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Image created in Canva

During daytime hours, the voice whispering in my ear tells me of the good people of the Russian Army.

It tells me how the Red Army are ridding Ukraine’s land of monsters. How a six-year-old boy caught up in WWII is the glue holding a Red Army regiment together.

At night, my TV shows vivid images of the destruction of Ukraine. Destruction caused by a Russian invasion. Of a man engorged with power bent on bringing the Ukraine nation to their knees. Juxtaposed by reports of Russian soldiers who believe they are there to help. Or a pair of Russian soldiers who stopped at a police station to ask for fuel to continue with the good fight.

I’m reading through the Children's Book Council of Australia, Book of the Year Awards 2022 shortlist. Written by Katrina Nannestad (narrated by Ben Walter) Rabbit, Soldier, Angel, Thief tells six-year-old Sasha’s story. How he ran from the “German monsters” into the arms of the Red Army.

An orphan of war, Sasha flees into the forest. Soldiers of the Red Army find Sacha. They could have given him food and a blanket and left him behind. Instead, the Russian soldiers take him in.

They are ordinary people, caught up in the war, fighting in defence of the…

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Sandi Parsons
Midform

Sandi Parsons lives & breathes stories as a reader, writer, and storyteller📚 Kidlit specialist, dipping her toes in the big kid’s pool.