Study Guide

Breaking Stalin's Nose Chapter 13

By Eugene Yelchin

Chapter 13

  • Sasha's desk is right up front in his classroom—where all the cool kids sit.
  • Vovka, it turns out, used to be a super-great student, but his grades have gotten worse recently. Now he's in the bottom of his class.
  • The teacher, Nina Petrovna, announces that Sasha's dad will be at the ceremony later to tie on every student's Pioneer scarf. (Little does she know… )
  • She calls on Sasha to recite in front of the class the Young Soviet Pioneers' Laws.
  • Vovka starts reciting along with all the other kids, but the teacher stops him. He is not going to become a Pioneer today, so we guess he has to zip it.
  • Meanwhile, Four-Eyes returns to class, bruised and bloodied from the snowball fight. Sasha feels slightly bad that he threw the snowball (but not too bad).
  • Nina Petrovna takes this opportunity to insult Four-Eyes in front of the class. As if everyone did not already know, she points out that he will not be allowed to join the Pioneers either.
  • Because Four-Eyes won't tell Nina who injured him, she asks the class to vote on whether he should be sent back to the principal's office for not obeying. This is held up as a stellar example of democracy.
  • It's unanimous: send him back to the principal's (really, are you surprised?).
  • Sasha hesitates and does not raise his hand, while Vovka tells the teacher Sasha is the one who roughed up Four-Eyes.
  • Their teacher refuses to believe this (since Sasha's dad is A Great Hero, yo), but she's still troubled because Sasha has not raised his hand to vote with the majority of the class. She threatens to withdraw a very great honor—letting him carry the "sacred" banner of the Young Pioneers at the ceremony—unless he straightens up.
  • So, Sasha raises his hand. Of course he does.