Lara's Gift


Ten year old Lara has a calling to work with the dogs in the Woronzova Kennel. These are not just hunting dogs; they are Russian Borzoi and Lara's calling includes a special gift she must keep hidden. Will she be allowed to continue working in the kennels when her brother is born, will Zar be trained to hunt wolves, and will her relationship with her father be restored?


Set in 1910 on a remote Russian estate, the story presents a brief look at rural life of peasants and nobility. Historically accurate for both the life style of the period and the breeding and training of borzoi dogs,  this 168 page story is followed by an author’s note, an afterward, glossary and a bibliography. Chapters are about 10 pages long. Writing is dialog and action with sparse descriptive passages written from Lara’s point of view. Russian words used in context will be easily translated, if necessary the glossary gives good definitions.


The story contains period practices and superstitions that may need clarification through discussion or research; particularly those associated with the Russian Orthodox Church.

This is a great book for any dog lover.


208 pages  Ages  10 and up   

  • 978-0307931740


Recommended by:  Barbara Fiehn EdD, Library Media Education,  Western Kentucky University, Kentucky, USA



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