Green Bean Books

Standing Together

Written by Leah Sokol

Price: £12.99 / $13.99
Pages: 224
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781805000570



  • A children’s biography of Natan Sharansky, the famous Soviet dissident and Refusenik, and his wife Avital

  • Timeline at the back of the book helps to guide readers through the story
  • Doesn’t shy away from complex topics and introduces these to children in age- appropriate ways
  • Interspersed with moments of humour and light
  • A middle-grade, historical book aimed at children aged 8–12


“There is something you should know,” Natan’s father said. “Comrade Stalin was not a great leader. He killed many innocent people, and he has been telling everyone to hate the Jews. We’re better off with him dead.”

“But,” he added, “don’t tell anyone what we really think. You must act the same as everyone else.”

Standing Together tells the remarkable, true story of Natan Sharansky, the famous Jewish Soviet dissident and Refusenik who spent nine years in Soviet prison. The book spans most of Natan’s life, from his earliest memories in kindergarten, when he learned of the death of Stalin, through his discovery of his Jewish identity, to his rebellion against the repressive Soviet society in which he lived, his involvement with the Refusenik and human rights movements that led to his imprisonment, and everything that came after.

This is not only a biography of Natan, however, but of his wife Avital, who spent the nine years that Natan was in prison working tirelessly to raise global awareness of these repressive Soviet societies and to free her husband. Alongside Avital’s tale, readers also learn about the Jewish communities across the globe that came together in this remarkable time of unity and dedication to help bring about the release of millions of Soviet Jews – like Natan – from prison.

Educational, moving and interspersed with moments of humour and light, Standing Together is essential historical reading for children aged 8 to 12 that will teach them about the importance of family and community, of being true to yourself and of not giving up hope even when things get tough.

Author Details

Leah Sokol has been a full-time author for 15 years who, under the name Leah Cypess, has published a number of mainstream, YA and MG fantasy novels including the Sisters Ever After series. She has also published numerous short stories, three of which have been nominated for a Nebula Award, and one of which was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. Under the name Leah Sokol, she has published several Judaica children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, including No Day Without Torah, The King’s Horse and The Most Annoying Aliens Ever. She lives in Maryland, USA with her husband and four children