Purchase to Support Our Program

“Marsh’s intertwining narratives ground the story of the Holodomor—which affected her own family—within a historical framework while leading up to a completely believable and emotionally powerful conclusion. A strong subplot discusses journalistic integrity and how one powerful man managed to keep the truth of the Holodomor hidden for years. A moving presentation of a long-suppressed piece of history.”
Kirkus Reviews

The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine

Written by Katherine Marsh
Published by Roaring Brook Press

From the author of Nowhere Boy – called “a resistance novel for our times” by The New York Times – comes a brilliant middle-grade survival story that traces a harrowing family secret back to the Holodomor, a terrible famine that devastated Soviet Ukraine in the 1930s.

Thirteen-year-old Matthew is miserable. His journalist dad is stuck overseas indefinitely, and his mom has moved in his one-hundred-year-old great-grandmother to ride out the pandemic, adding to his stress and isolation.

But when Matthew finds a tattered black-and-white photo in his great-grandmother’s belongings, he discovers a clue to a hidden chapter of her past, one that will lead to a life-shattering family secret. Set in alternating timelines that connect the present-day to the 1930s and the US to the USSR, Katherine Marsh’s latest novel sheds fresh light on the Holodomor – the horrific famine that killed millions of Ukrainians, and which the Soviet government covered up for decades.

An incredibly timely, page-turning story of family, survival, and sacrifice, inspired by the author’s own family history.

NOTE: While I’m Your Neighbor Books does not generally feature novels set prior to 1970, the historical flashbacks in this book inform the current Ukrainian refugee crisis. The novel invites the reader to explore the history of Russia’s treatment of the Ukrainian people, experience the tragedy of famine and flight, and understand the benefits (for all) of America welcoming refugees.

Primary ISBN: 9781250313607
Publication Date: January 2023
Available As: Hardcover, Audiobook, eBook
Middle Grade, Age 10 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , , , , , , ,

Setting: Own Voices/Lived Experience

Character’s New Arrival/New American Status: 3rd Generation (Mattie), Immigrant (GG)

Click here for details about how we define our titles.

Engagement Projects & Resources:

Share your favorite resources for this book with info@imyourneighborbooks.org.

Author Talk