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"Opening with a description of the Ukrainian flag, conversational text introduces young Volodymyr Zelensky (b. 1978), during whose childhood “flying Ukraine’s flag was against the law.” Elovitz Marshall next offers up remarks about living under the Soviet Union’s oversight: “Anyone who broke the rules or said the wrong thing or criticized the Soviet government could be punished.” At age 13, Zelensky, witnessing the fall of the Soviet Union, “was so happy. It was a new start for all Ukrainians.” Zelensky’s adulthood—from his early years as a charismatic television entertainer to his presidential election in 2019—plays out in the text against Vladimir Putin’s growing push for control of Ukraine. The bright hopefulness of Olikyo’s gouache-style digital illustrations amplifies the story’s resolute view that, even as war drags on, “freedom is a fragile thing./ It needs to be cherished./ It needs to be protected./ And freedom depends on the truth.” An author’s note, timeline, and bibliography conclude."—Publishers Weekly

Brave Volodymyr:  The Story of Volodymyr Zelensky and the Fight for Ukraine.png

Brave Volodymyr:

The Story of Volodymyr Zelensky and the Fight for Ukraine
Author Linda Elovitz Marshall
Illustrator Grasya Oliyko
Publisher ‎ HarperCollins 

October 3, 2023
​ISBN-10 ‏: ‎ 0063294141
ISBN-13 ‏: ‎ 978-0063294141

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From acclaimed author Linda Elovitz Marshall comes a picture book biography of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that highlights the importance of standing up for what one believes in, defending freedom at all costs, and maintaining hope in the face of war’s atrocities—with stunning art from Ukrainian illustrator Grasya Oliyko.


Volodymyr Zelensky wanted to make Ukraine a better, kinder, more joyful place. Born to Jewish parents, Volodymyr had much love and pride for his country. Growing up, even with Ukraine’s various conflicts, he liked to make people laugh. After university, he became a comedian and actor. But he knew humor wasn’t enough to fix his nation’s ongoing problems. So, in 2019, he ran for president—and won!

Leading with honesty, heart, and humor, President Zelensky stood up for what he believed in, no matter how tough the situation. And when Ukraine was invaded, he bravely defended his country, the Ukrainian people, and their right to freedom at all costs.

Featuring an author’s note, educational timeline, and more, this powerful nonfiction account beautifully captures President Volodymyr Zelensky’s journey to office and Ukraine’s fight for truth and independence amidst rising tensions.

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