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News > School News > Story of a Book

Story of a Book

How a book of Russian idioms traveled across the Atlantic twice to end up back at AAS after 30 plus years.

The book in question is a Russian Language Publishers 1980 edition of Russian Idioms, printed in Moscow, during Soviet times. 

In the early 80's, the book was purchased and imported into the United States by a Chicago publishing house. 

The book then ended up being purchased by the AAS library and traveled back to Moscow. 


In the 90's, as the AAS library cleaned house, the book was donated or sold.


Although we lose track of its fate for a few years, we know that a Moscovite purchased the edition and gifted to her daughter Masha. 

8-year-old Masha used to love reading and learning Russian Idioms, all while practicing her English. 

The rest of the story is told by Masha herself. 
"When I was a little girl, my mom gave me a book of Russian Idioms by a Soviet author and published in USSR in 1980. I used to love this book, I read and re-read it. Idioms are fun by themselves, but this book also had funny pictures and English translations. It fascinated me. Several years ago my mom found this book at their house and gave it back to me. I put it on the shelf without ever opening it. A few days ago, I grabbed it for my daughter Katya who is currently learning about idioms in her AAS Russian class. We discovered that the book has a stamp from the AAS Library, the same library my daughter and I have been taking advantage off for a few years now. How unbelievable is that!? We wonder about the details of its journey, the people that have read it and the shelves it stood on? "  - Masha Sumina, AAS Parent, 2018

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