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Back in the USSR

Back in the USSR

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When Harrison, the son of American diplomats, lands in Moscow at the height of the Cold War, he knows three things.

His passport will keep him safe.

His daydreams will keep him company.

His music will keep him sane.

But everything he knows is about to change. 

His father has disappeared. His mother is keeping secrets. And his friend Prudence, the fearless daughter of foreign correspondents, leads him on a wild chase across the city in pursuit of a mysterious stranger.

Suddenly Harrison is on the run from mobsters and spies, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the unlikeliest treasure: a legendary lost recording by The Beatles, a symbol of freedom in a place where rock is banned.

As international tensions threaten to ignite, Harrison holds the key to finding the album that could prevent war. All he needs is a little help from his friends — but he must decide who to trust, what to risk, and how far to go.

If you enjoyed Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider series, Elizabeth Wein's Code Name Verity, or Ruta Sepetys's I Must Betray You, you'll love Back in the USSR



Publisher: Spy Pond Press
Publication Date:
: 9798986169903 (ebook) | 9798986169910 (paperback) | 9798986169927 (hardcover)
Print Length: 326 pages
Print Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 inches (216 x 140 mm)

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    -The BookLife Prize by Publishers Weekly

  • "Vividly painted and irresistible … a fun, rich, and sophisticated page-turner … Highly recommended!"

    -Tim Weed, award-winning author of YA novel Will Poole's Island

  • "Clever plot twists abound, keeping the reader spellbound up to the colorful and dramatic ending."

    -Laurel Davis Huber, award-winning author of historical novel The Velveteen Daughter

  • "Kept me turning the page to see what happened next, all the while delighting with easter eggs, lyric references and the pure joy that The Beatles bring to the world."

    -Obadiah Jones, host of Beatles podcast "Gimme Some Truth"

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Customer Reviews

Based on 50 reviews
J. Fergus
Fun YA thriller, great characters

What a fun read! Especially delightful for Beatles fans, but a lot here for non-fans to enjoy, too (and a treasure trove of music for them to discover.) The author did such a great job describing the wide cast of characters that you never lost track of who was who. The plot was sometimes manic, sometimes fantastical, and always engaging. Loved the authentic glimpse into day-to-day life in Russia in the last days of the cold war. Highly recommend!

Great book!

This was an amazing and very exiting book about friendship and trust! This book was very adventurous and I couldn’t put it down! I would highly recommend!

When Does the Movie Come Out?

"Back in the USSR" was riveting from start to finish. Between the setting (Moscow), the era (the 1980s), the theme (The Beatles), and the teenage characters, I seriously couldn't put this book down. With lots of intrigue and excitement, I kept thinking to myself, "I'd love to see this made into a movie!". Seriously.
Cleverly written, well-paced, maybe a bit fantastical in places, this book is geared for adults and young adult readers who're a bit more sophisticated, I think.

Jane H
Fun read, engaging plot

I'm not usually drawn to thrillers but I really enjoyed reading Back in the USSR. The author does a nice job of weaving a young adult perspective, diplomatic life, and Beatles song lyrics to create a fast-moving plot that I found hard to put down.

Absolutely wonderful!

Absolutely wonderful!