In 1926, while living in Russia, ten-year-old Lisenka and her family struggled to survive under Communist rule. When Commandant Chukov closed their Christian school, took their Bible, and began to stalk them for their Christian faith, they knew they must flee. Follow Lisenka and her family on their harrowing journey by oxen cart, train and ship to America. Even within sight of America, their dream was threatened. Throughout the book, Lisenka tried to believe the truth of God's promise, "All things work together for good to them that love." This fictional story of a young girl's journey to religious freedom in the United States is based on actual events.
Here’s the exciting beginning of Chapter One:
We had only a second’s warning. Papa had been giving our morning devotion, talking about the mansions of heaven. My thoughts had drifted to America. They always did when Papa talked about mansions or heaven. Then the Russian soldiers’ stiff-legged marching thudded on the ground outside our school and jarred my empty stomach. Commandant Chukov slammed through the school door.
The half dozen village children and I froze on the bench against the rough wood and mud wall. Papa stood firm, his Bible tucked under his arm. His right hand lifted slightly as if to say, “Children, remain seated.”
Chukov strode over to Papa, his beady eyes glaring into Papa’s calm face. “Schoolmaster Pavel Schaller,” Chukov said, spitting out the words at Papa. He spoke in German so that all of us could understand.
“Your teachings about God are confusing our Russian children. There is no God. And do not talk of heaven either. That is a fairy tale,” Chukov said, pounding his fist on Papa’s desk. “You must talk instead of the value of work and improving life here in Russia. Look to the Communist Party. You German-Russian people must wake up. This is 1926. You and your teachings are obsolete and dangerous to the good of Russia.”
Papa stood still, staring calmly into Chukov’s angry, red face. Chukov sputtered and pointed a sharp finger at Papa.
“As of this hour, Schallert, you are forbidden to teach any children. Your Lutheran school is closed,” Chukov shouted and shook his head smugly.
Closed? My school closed? I couldn’t breathe . . .
“Reading RED carried me back more that 70 years to the stories that my mom told me. The book made me cry at the memories of her hardships and joys.” -Gloria Pipping,daughter of German-Russian immigrant, Lydia Zangl
“It’s easy to recommend RED to kids because my students loved the riveting adventure. More importantly,however, kids should read it to learn, along with Lisenka, the value of religious freedom and the faithful fulfillment of God’s promises.” -Kris Walta, fifth grade teacher, Faith Lutheran School, Fond du Lac, WI
RED is available for purchase through: the author, Northwestern Publishing House, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and xulonpress.com/bookstore