Nick Abadzis

Laika was the abandoned puppy destined to become Earth’s first space traveler. This is her journey.

Nick Abadzis masterfully blends fiction and fact in the intertwined stories of three compelling lives. Along with Laika there is Korolev, once a political prisoner and now a driven engineer at the top of the Soviet space program, and Yelena, the lab technician responsible for Laika’s health and life. This intense triangle is rendered with the pitch-perfect emotionality of classics like Because of Winn Dixie, Shiloh, and Old Yeller.

Abadzis gives life to a pivotal moment in modern history, casting light on the hidden moments of deep humanity behind history. Laika’s story will speak straight to your heart.

status Copy #1 (668): in
genre Literature and Fiction » Historical Fiction
publisher First Second
publish date Sep 4, 2007
popularity checked out 9 time(s)


  • By Kryssanne Adams -

    Reading this story, I felt like a moth flying into a light. I knew what was going to happen from a mile away, but I couldn’t look away. I could see of the events in motion leading up to the finale, yet I refused to believe them. Even though this is a real event that I’m familiar with. Despite the sadness woven throughout this story, there are so many small moments of hope and joy tucked away that I found it extremely worthwhile. It’s loaded with graceful presence, kindness, and compassion in the midst of horror.

    From the story’s afterword: “Abadiz’s imagination seamlessly fill[s] out the personal stories, both canine and human, that bring Laika alive as a meditation on the meaning of destiny and the fragile beauty of trust.”

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