Near the rail tracks

Kedros, 1977
Metaichmio, 2011

1980 Mildred L. Batchelder Award (USA)

Every day, ten-year-old Sasha looks outside her window to the rail tracks that lead away to a new life. Thousands of questions about the world pop up like mushrooms in her mind. Grown-ups don’t have much patience for explanations, expect her father; he calls her Kernel and she calls him Sesame. He is a doctor and he doesn’t make distinctions between poor and rich patients, nor between Russian or Jewish, Christians or not.

These are the principles that Sasha grows up with in pre-revolution Russia, fighting against injustice and learning what it means to be a true hero. With the anticipation and enthusiasm that only children can master, she awaits the great change that will knock on their doors.


It has been translated into 5 languages.

Foreign editions

Prop de les vies, Manresa: Tigre de Paper, 2022 (Catalan)

The sound of the dragon’s feet, New York: E.P. Dutton & Co, York 1979 (English)

Vicino ai binari, Torino: Petrini Editore, 1996 (Italian)

용이 걸어오는 소리, Seoul: Changbi Publishers, 2008 (Korean)

Drommen om frihet, Oslo: Gyldendal, 1982 (Norwegian)