Ludmila Ulitskaya, one of Russia?s most acclaimed contemporary prose writers, began her literary career with a book of stories for children, and later published a series of stories about young girls growing into adolescence during the post-Stalin period of the 1950s. The three short stories in this reader (Paper Victory, Cabbage Miracle, and Nails) provide a window into the Soviet childhood experience in the years 1945-49, when the country was just beginning to recover from the devastation and hardships caused by the Second World War. The stories are semi-autobiographical, based on Ulitskaya?s childhood memories, and each portrays child protagonists facing challenging situations in everyday life. Ulitskaya?s detailed descriptions of landscape, weather, objects, sounds, and smells evoke the atmosphere and harsh realities of life in the early postwar years; yet each of these stories ends on an optimistic note, engendering hope for a better future. These are touching, masterfully-told stories, which taken together, paint a vivid picture of childhood experiences in postwar Russia, and will, as Ulitskaya intended, help preserve the memory of this historical period for future generations of readers. This reader provides ample support for the learners, including marginal glosses, historical-cultural, and grammatical commentaries, as well as a range of exercises on word-formation, vocabulary building, and participles.