Thirteen-year-old Rachel dreads the afternoons she has to spend with her great- grandmother, Nana Sashie-until Sashie begins to reminisce about her childhood in Russia and Rachel finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of memories. As the events and characters of Sashie's past come to life, Rachel discovers a distant country and time, a time when Jews were forced to serve in the Czar's armies or were murdered in pogroms, a time when nine-year-old Sashie devised a wonderful plan to save her family from danger. . . .