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Publisher Description

A 2016 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist. In September 1941, Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht surrounded Leningrad in what was to become one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history—almost three years of bombardment and starvation that culminated in the harsh winter of 1943–1944. More than a million citizens perished. Survivors recall corpses littering the frozen streets, their relatives having neither the means nor the strength to bury them. Residents burned books, furniture, and floorboards to keep warm; they ate family pets and—eventually—one another to stay alive. Trapped between the Nazi invading force and the Soviet government itself was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who would write a symphony that roused, rallied, eulogized, and commemorated his fellow citizens—the Leningrad Symphony, which came to occupy a surprising place of prominence in the eventual Allied victory. This is the true story of a city under siege: the triumph of bravery and defiance in the face of terrifying odds. It is also a look at the power—and layered meaning—of music in beleaguered lives. Symphony for the City of the Dead is a masterwork thrillingly told and impeccably researched by National Book Award–winning author M. T. Anderson.

Young Adult
September 22
Candlewick Press
Candlewick Press, Inc.

Customer Reviews


I had no idea

I never knew what the Soviet Union went through around WWII. This was almost like an apocalyptic read, with all the horrors they lived. And the kicker is that it’s true.

thanatophiliayui ,

Can I get a refund?

I find it hard to call a book full of “supposedly” non-fiction. Of course the author can have their own opinions towards people, events, and ideology, but suggesting something happened when there is no solid proof just makes the author’s options sound suspicious. History is not the representative of any specific ideology, and it should be told without personal bias. Unfortunately this was not what the author did in this book.

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