Italy

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Cross My Heart by Sasha Gould

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Venice, 1585.
When 16-year-old Laura della Scala learns that her older sister, Beatrice, has drowned, she is given no time to grieve. Instead, Laura's father removes her from the convent where he forcibly sent her years earlier and orders her to marry Beatrice's fiancé, a repulsive old merchant named Vincenzo. Panicked, Laura betrays a powerful man to earn her way into the Segreta, a shadowy society of women who deal in only one currency—secrets. The Segreta seems like the answer to Laura's prayers. The day after she joins their ranks, Vincenzo is publicly humiliated and conveniently exiled. Soon, however, Laura begins to suspect that her sister's death was not a tragic accident but a cold-blooded murder—one that might involve the Segreta and the women she has come to trust.


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Getting the Boot by Peggy Guthart Strauss

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Studying abroad isn't at all like Kelly thought it would be. Instead of shopping for fine Italian leather and living in an apartment with a view of the Colosseum, she is stuck in a stuffy dorm room with three other girls, and is sharing one shower with the entire floor! This is not the bella Roma that she'd dreamed of. But there is one part of Italy that Kelly doesn't mind—Joe, a really cute guy who's in the study abroad program too. Joe's into staying up late and partying hard, two things that Kelly used to love doing. Bad habits are hard to break, and she soon finds herself on thin ice with the program coordinators. If Kelly's not careful, she might just get the boot… 


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Hero on a Bicycle by Shirley Hughes

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Italy, 1944: Florence is occupied by Nazi forces. The Italian resistance movement has not given up hope, though — and neither have thirteen-year- old Paolo and his sister, Costanza. As their mother is pressured into harboring escaping POWs, Paolo and Costanza each find a part to play in opposing the German forces. Both are desperate to fight the occupation, but what can two siblings — with only a bicycle to help them — do against a whole army? Middle-grade fans of history and adventure will be riveted by the action and the vividly evoked tension of World War II.


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Juliet by Anne Fortier

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Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved Aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy.

This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.

But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it?


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Listen to the Moon by Michael Morpurgo

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May, 1915.

Alfie and his fisherman father find a girl on an uninhabited island in the Scillies – injured, thirsty, lost… and with absolutely no memory of who she is, or how she came to be there. She can say only one word: Lucy.

Where has she come from? Is she a mermaid, the victim of a German U-boat, or even – as some islanders suggest – a German spy…?

Only one thing is for sure: she loves music and moonlight, and it is when she listens to the gramophone that the glimmers of the girl she once was begin to appear.

WW1 is raging, suspicion and fear are growing, and Alfie and Lucy are ever more under threat. But as we begin to see the story of Merry, a girl boarding a great ship for a perilous journey across the ocean, another melody enters the great symphony – and the music begins to resolve…


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Primavera by Mary Jane Beaufrand

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The Italian Renaissance was a cultural explosion of art, architecture and learning, but it had a darker side. Two powerful families, the tyrannical Medici and their biggest rivals, the Pazzi, are tangled in a bloody struggle for ultimate power. Caught in the whirlwind is Flora, the last daughter of the Pazzi. As her beautiful older sister is being painted by the famed artist Botticelli, Flora is dreading her fate. Destined for life in a convent, Flora is determined to take matters into her own hands, even as her world crumbles around her. When Flora decides runs away, she has no idea that the decision will save her life. As her family falls to their murderous enemy, Flora must find a new life and a new identity.

Inspired by actual events, Primavera is a dazzling coming of age story set during a time of beauty and wealth, ambition, rivalry and brutality. Historical art references to Boticelli and his famous painting, Primavera, give this book an appeal similar to Girl with a Pearl Earring. 


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The Queen's Soprano by Carol Dines

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Seventeen-year-old Angelica Voglia has the voice of an angel. But in seventeenth-century Rome, the pope has forbidden women to sing in public. To make matters worse, her controlling mother is determined to marry her off to a wealthy nobleman, even though Angelica is in love with a poor French artist. Angelica's only hope to sing before an audience—and escape a forced marriage—is to flee to Queen Christina's court, where she will become the queen's soprano. But she soon discovers that the palace walls are not completely secure . . . and her freedom will require even greater sacrifice than she imagined.

Kosovo

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Girl of Kosovo by Alice Mead

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A child's perspective on war.

In 1998 the Serb military intensifies its efforts to expel Albanians from Kosovo. Ethnic cleansing forces many families to seek safety in the surrounding hills and mountains. The Kosovo Liberation Army fights back guerrilla style, struggling for an independent Kosovo. Some Albanian villagers support the freedom fighters. Others fear that armed resistance, which they have successfully avoided through long years of Serb repression, will only increase the death toll. And always there is terrible tension between Serbian and Albanian neighbors who once were friends. Eleven-year-old Zana Dugolli, an Albanian Kosovar, isn't sure what to think. She does know not to speak her language to Serbs. And every day she worries about her mother and father, her brothers, the farm, the apple orchard. Already she has lost her best friend, a Serb. Then Zana's village is shelled, and her worst nightmare is realized. Her father and two brothers are killed in the attack, and her leg is shattered by shrapnel. Alone in a Serb hospital, she remembers her father's words: "Don't let them fill your heart with hate."

Latvia

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Tit for Tat and Other Latvian Folk Tales by Mae Durham

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Bearslayer by Andrejs Pumpurs

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Epic story set in medieval Latvia during the time of the nation's conquest by German Crusaders. It tells the story of the bear slayer Lacplesis, who is part man and part bear. The story is based on Latvian folklore and reflects the national consciousness of the 19th century.


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Lenin's Harem by by William Burton McCormick

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Latvia, 1905. Amidst the ashes of the failed workers’ rebellions of 1905, Latvian aristocrat Wiktor Rooks finds that he has lost everything: home and heritage, his life’s very purpose. Coerced into the Russian Army, Wiktor is soon swept up into the turbulent years of the Great War and the Bolshevik Revolution. By a twist of fate, he becomes a member of the elite Red Riflemen of the Revolution, a regiment nicknamed “Lenin’s Harem” for their absolute loyalty to the cause. Wiktor hides his aristocratic past, finds friendship among the soldiers, and love with a communist girl. When the wars end, he returns to his homeland, but betrayals await and Stalin’s soldiers are soon knocking on the door. Set in Russia and Latvia between 1905 and 1941, Lenin’s Harem is a story of nationhood, brotherhood, and love throughout the most turbulent years of the twentieth century.

Lithuania

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The Beauty of History by Viivi Luik

The Beauty of History by Viivi Luik

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1968. Riga. News of the Prague Spring washes across Europe, causing ripples on either side of the Iron Curtain. A young Estonian woman has agreed to pose as a model for a famous, sculptor, who is trying to evade military service and escape to the West. Although the model has only a vague awareness of politics - her interest in life is primarily poetic - the consequences of the politics of both past and present repeatedly make themselves felt. Chance remarks overheard prompt memories of people and places, language itself becomes fluid, by turns deceptive and reassuring.

The Beauty of History is a novel of poetic intensity, of fleeting moods and captured moments. It is powerfully evocative of life within the Baltic States during the Soviet occupation, and of the challenge to artists to express their individuality whilst maintaining at least an outward show of loyalty to the dominant ideology. Written on the cusp of independence, as Estonia and Latvia sought to regain their sovereignty in 1991, this is a novel that can be seen as an historic document - wistful, unsettling, and beautiful...


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Above Us Only Sky by Michele Young-Stone

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From the author of The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors,which Library Journal called, “ripe for Oprah or fans of Elizabeth Berg or Anne Tyler,” comes a magical novel about a family of women separated by oceans, generations, and war, but connected by something much greater—the gift of wings.

On March 29, 1973, Prudence Eleanor Vilkas was born with a pair of wings molded to her back. Considered a birth defect, her wings were surgically removed, leaving only the ghost of them behind.

At fifteen years old, confused and unmoored, Prudence meets her long-estranged Lithuanian grandfather and discovers a miraculous lineage beating and pulsing with past Lithuanian bird-women, storytellers with wings dragging the dirt, survivors perched on radio towers, lovers lit up like fireworks, and heroes disguised as everyday men and women. Prudence sets forth on a quest to discover her ancestors, to grapple with wings that only one other person can see, and ultimately, to find out where she belongs.


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Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

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Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously--and at great risk--documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart

Luxembourg

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The Elf of Luxembourg by Tom Weston

The Elf of Luxembourg by Tom Weston 

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What's an older sister to do? It's not all fun fairs and ice-cream. Well, it is - but that's beside the point. When one is in Luxembourg, there is a certain standard to maintain, and vacationing with Elves and Vampires is just so old school. But can Alex convince her younger sister, Jackie, of that? No, of course not, so she may as well get used to it. But deep beneath the ancient city of Luxembourg there lies a secret. The Vampires believe it is protected by the Elf. The Elf believes it is protected by a prophecy concerning Alex and Jackie. And the sisters? They believe shoes in Luxembourg are too expensive. Why are the Vampires going toe-to-toe with an Elf for the pleasure of the sisters' company? Why does the Elf think Alex and Jackie can sing? And just who let Sir Walter Raleigh and the Conquistadors into this story? To answer these questions will take all of the sisters' cunning, bravery and imagination, as well as some souvenir shopping. Because this is the Elf of Luxembourg and this is an Alex and Jackie Adventure.


Storms Over Luxembourg By Fausto Gardini

Storms Over Luxembourg By Fausto Gardini

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World War I (1914-1918), the war to end all wars, is both a continuation of an earlier conflict, the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), and a prelude to the greater horrors of World War II (1939-1945). A fact historians and scholars tend to ignore is that little Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was in various ways at the origin or at the heart of these conflicts. That detail is lost in the bigger picture of European and world history.

Macedonia

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The Time of the Goats by Luan Starova

The Time of the Goats by Luan Starova

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It’s the late 1940s in Skopje, Yugoslavia, in the critical year leading to Tito’s break with Stalin. Pushed to leave mountain villages to become the new proletariat in urban factories, a flood of peasants crowds into Skopje—and with them, all of their goats. Suffering from hunger, Skopje’s citizens welcome the newcomers. But municipal leaders are faced with a dilemma when the central government issues an order calling for the slaughter of the country’s goat population. With food so scarce, will they hide the outlawed animals? Or will they comply with the edict and endure the bite of hunger?
    The Time of the Goats is the second novel in Luan Starova’s acclaimed multivolume Balkan saga. It follows the main characters from My Father’s Books and the tragicomic events of their lives in Skopje as the narrator’s intellectual father and the head goatherd become friends. As local officials clumsily carry out absurd policies, Starova conveys the bonds of understanding and mutual support that form in Skopje’s poorest neighborhoods. At once historical and allegorical, folkloric and fantastic, The Time of the Goats draws lyrically on Starova’s own childhood.

Malta

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The Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat

The Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat

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As bombs pound Malta to dust, Father Salvatore--a simple priest, or kappillan, serving the poor--finds himself caught in the drama of World War Two. In the fragile safety of catacombs revealed by the explosions, he tends to the flood of homeless, starving, and frightened people seeking shelter, giving messages of inspiration and hope. His story, and that of the island, unfold in superbly graphic images of six days during the siege.


Under a Maltese Sky by Nicola Kearns

Under a Maltese Sky by Nicola Kearns

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Being caught up in war is not what Ana Mellor expects when she lands in Malta to join her Wing-Commander father. In the midst of horror and destruction, the courage and resilience of the Maltese people is revealed as they struggle to survive.

Ana falls in love but treachery intervenes with catastrophic consequences.

Meanwhile, disillusioned with Ireland’s fight for political independence, Ernie McGuill leaves home to join the British Army. Due to the outbreak of war he trains as a fighter pilot and is posted to Malta.

It is against this background that the characters of Ana, Ernie and many others are interwoven in a story of betrayal and intrigue. This is not unravelled until generations later when two women make a journey to Malta - a journey that is to have astonishing consequences.

Moldova

Moldova
Like Bees to Honey by Caroline Smailes

Like Bees to Honey by Caroline Smailes

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Haunting, heartfelt and beautiful’ CHRIS CLEAVE
Nina, her son Christopher in tow, flies to Malta for one last visit with her aging parents.
Her previous attempt to see them ended in tears. Disowned for falling pregnant while at university in England, she was not allowed into the house.
This will be her final chance to make her peace with them.
But Malta holds more secrets and surprises than Nina could possibly imagine. What she finds is not the land of her youth, a place full of memories and happiness. Instead she meets dead people. Lots of them.
Malta, it transpires, is a transit lounge for recently deceased spirits and somehow Christopher enables her to see them, speak with them and help them.
And, in return, they help Nina come to terms with her own loss. One so great that she has yet to admit it to herself.
Like Bees to Honey is a story of family, redemption and ghosts. It is a magical tale that will live with you long after you finish reading. 


Ironfire by David Ball

Ironfire by David Ball

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From the acclaimed author of Empires of Sand comes a mesmerizing new adventure that Jean Auel cites as “crowded with events that both forecast and mirror the conflicts of today.” Sweeping from the drawing rooms of Paris to the palace of Suleiman the Magnificent to the dark hold of a slave ship racing across the sea, here is a dazzling story of love and valor, innocence and identity, an epic novel of the clash of civilizations on a barren island where the future was forged.

The Mediterranean, the sixteenth century: Lying squarely in the midst of the vital sea lanes between the Christian West and the Ottoman Empire in the East, and ruled by the ancient Order of the Knights of St. John, Malta will become the stage upon which the fate of the world turns. For one of its sons, the hand of violence strikes swiftly, when young Nicolo Borg is seized by Barbary slavers and launched on a remarkable journey to the court of the supreme ruler of the Muslim world. Renamed Asha, plotting his escape even as he swears allegiance to the god of his masters and is schooled in the arts of culture and war, the innocent boy will be transformed into one of the Sultan’s deadliest commanders. 

For Nico’s beloved sister, Maria, his loss fires her hatred for the knights who did nothing to save him and her dreams of escape from her stifling home. As the headstrong girl grows into a fierce beauty, she will capture the attention of one man in particular, Christien de Vries, a surgeon-knight torn between duty and desire, caught up in Malta’s frantic preparations against the coming Ottoman storm. Around Nico and Maria are men and women who will share their destinies: Dragut Raïs, a brilliant corsair, arch-rival of the knights…Giulio Salvago, a priest in full flight from his carnal nature…Alisa, a young beauty hidden away in a harem…Jean de La Valette, the master knight who is Malta’s only hope for survival.

As the mighty Ottoman fleet bears down on the tiny island, as Nico Borg makes his way back to his homeland at the helm of a warship, Ironfire moves inexorably to a shattering climax where all will face ultimate justice in the murderous cauldron of siege warfare. Brilliantly capturing the crosscurrents of a storied age, Ironfire is historical fiction in the grand tradition, a stirring realization of a pivotal moment in time that irrevocably shaped the world we inhabit today.


The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich

The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich

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Hannah Levi is renowned throughout Venice for her gift at coaxing reluctant babies from their mothers -- a gift aided by the secret "birthing spoons" she designed. But when a count implores her to attend to his wife, who has been laboring for days to give birth to their firstborn son, Hannah is torn. A Papal edict forbids Jews from rendering medical treatment to Christians, but the payment he offers is enough to ransom her beloved husband, Isaac, who has been captured at sea. Can Hannah refuse her duty to a suffering woman? Hannah's choice entangles her in a treacherous family rivalry that endangers the baby and threatens her voyage to Malta, where Isaac, believing her dead in the plague, is preparing to buy his passage to a new life. Not since The Red Tent or People of the Book has a novel transported readers so intimately into the complex lives of women centuries ago or so richly into a story of intrigue that transcends the boundaries of history.

Monaco

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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

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Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again...

Working as a lady's companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Her future looks bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Max de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper, Mrs Danvers...

Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.


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The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White 

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Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. Though raised in the palace of Monaco, she’s British by birth and was brought to the Grimaldis under suspicious circumstances as a babe. When Brook’s friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.
The mystery of her mother’s death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook’s life is threatened do they draw close—but their loyalty may come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother.
As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that what began as friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?
And then, for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Parkis stolen away because of the very rare treasure in her possession—and this time only the servants of Whitby can save her.

Montenegro

Montenegro
Memoir of a Revolutionary by Milovan Djilas

Memoir of a Revolutionary by Milovan Djilas

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"Now I felt that the world was so clear to me that I would be able to influence its destiny." That is the spirit of the 1930's, the period Milovan Djilas describes in "Memoir of a Revolutionary." He became a communist when the Communist movement in Yugoslavia was growing into the force that eventually gave form to modern Yugoslavia. Determined and heroically hardheaded, Djilas suffered brutalities at the hands of King Alexander's police. Undeterred, he continued to organize, write, publish, learn. For a while Djilas tried to combine his literary ambitions with his political ideals. But he soon realized that his "poetic passion" was in conflict with his revolutionary discipline. There is iron determination in this man who became, under Tito's leadership, a chief architect of the Communist revolution. The Yugoslav Communists built an organization strong enough to resist both Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia. A tightly knot group personally and politically, they enforced a personal morality that drove some dedicated men to despair. Djilas helped to mild minds; others organized cadres. With Tito, Djilas maintained a special "father-and-son relationship." With almost perfect recall, Djilas tells of these years of struggle and triumph, of the time spent in prison, which was, he says, "perhaps the most important school ... for our spiritual transformation." This book is a rare study of human commitment.


Till Kingdom Come by Andrej Nikolaidis

Till Kingdom Come by Andrej Nikolaidis

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TILL KINGDOM COMES is ... a compulsively readable mixture of humour and dark fate, Nikolaidis bitterly explodes all Balkan post-Communist myths. After reading it, you will hate life, but in an immensely happy way!" Slavoj i ek A cynical local reporter discovers that the grandmother who brought him up is actually not his blood relative. Suddenly, the past he has called his own turns out to be a complete fabrication; from the stories of his parents' lives to the photos in the family albums. Here starts the most important investigation the reporter has ever undertaken, and one in which the main character is the mother he never knew. He must find what links the woman who gave birth to him to the murderous past of the Yugoslav Secret Services and the liquidation of political opponents abroad and embark on a journey will take him to the site of wartime atrocities, on the trail of fake suicides across Europe, and back to the fate of a local Jewish mystic. Through his own unique and now recognizable style, Nikolaidis takes us into a world of criminal intrigue and a dissection of our humble human existence. Powerful, rich in philosophy, readers will be gripped by this binding narrative and the existential dilemmas it reveals.

Netherlands

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The Silent Heroes: A Memoir of Holland During World War II by Hans Moederzoon Van Kuilenburg 

The Silent Heroes: A Memoir of Holland During World War II by Hans Moederzoon Van Kuilenburg 

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Author Hans Moederzoon van Kuilenburg was a 10-year-old girl living in Amsterdam when German soldiers invaded Holland in the spring of 1940. The Dutch had intended to stay neutral at the outbreak of the war, as their military was no match for the Nazi hordes. Within five days, Holland had fallen and the German occupation was underway. The five ensuing years were among the darkest chapters in Dutch history, culminating in the "hunger winter" of 1944, during which 30,000 Dutch citizens died of hunger and cold. Even today, people like the author, who grew up during that time, are more prone to heart attacks as a result of the physical stress of those years. But despite having capitulated so quickly in the face of the overwhelming might of the German war machine, there were many heroes in Holland during the occupation; people like the author's father, a civilian supervisor of marine supplies, who robbed the Germans blind and gave stolen food and clothing to Dutch people in need. Eventually his activities attracted the attention of the German authorities and he was imprisoned. Thankfully Hans' mother was able to stage a dramatic escape with the help of the family doctor. The Silent Heroes is a true story of heroism, survival and resistance during a time of fear, despair, and hardship. Hans Moederzoon van Kuilenburg was born in Amsterdam and immigrated to the U.S. in 1959. She had a distinguished career as a medical assistant before retiring. In addition to writing, she also does photography and sometimes exhibits her work. The Silent Heroes is her first book. 


I am Rembrandt's Daughter by Lynn Cullen

I am Rembrandt's Daughter by Lynn Cullen

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With her mother dead of the plague, and her beloved brother newly married and moved away, Cornelia van Rijn finds herself without a friend or confidante—save her difficult father. Out of favor with Amsterdam's elite, and considered brash and unreasonable by his patrons, Rembrandt van Rijn, once revered, is now teetering on the brink of madness. Cornelia alone must care for him, though she herself is haunted by secrets and scandal. Her only happiness comes in chance meetings with Carel, the son of a wealthy shipping magnate whose passion for art stirs Cornelia. And then there is Neel, her father's last remaining pupil, whose steadfast devotion to Rembrandt both baffles and touches her. Based on historical fact, and filled with family dramas and a love triangle that would make Jane Austen proud, I Am Rembrandt's Daughter is a powerful account of a young woman's struggle to come of age within the shadow of one of the world's most brilliant and complicated artists.


The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss

The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss

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In the part of the marketplace where flowers had been sold twice a week - tulips in the spring, roses in the summer - stood German tanks and German soldiers. Annie de Leeuw was eight years old in 1940 when the Germans attacked Holland and marched into the town of Winterswijk where she lived. Annie was ten when, because she was Jewish and in great danger of being captured by the invaders, she and her sister Sini had to leave their father, mother, and older sister Rachel to go into hiding in the upstairs room of a remote farmhouse.

Johanna de Leeuw Reiss has written a remarkably fresh and moving account of her own experiences as a young girl during World War II. Like many adults, she was innocent of the German plans for Jews, and she might have gone to a labor camp as scores of families did. "It won't be for long and the Germans have told us we'll be treated well," those families said. "What can happen?" They did not know, and they could not imagine... but millions of Jews found out. 


Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge

Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge

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"Gretel looked at her mother in troubled silence, wondering whether it were very wicked to care more for one parent than for the other-and sure, yes, quite sure, that she dreaded her father, while she clung to her mother with a love that was almost idolatry." from Hans Brinker

A beloved childhood favorite for a century and a half-and a book that readers continue to enjoy and appreciate long into adulthood. Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates went through more than 100 editions during the author's lifetime alone. 


The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

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Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.

In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annexe" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.

In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short. 


The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

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Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam—a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion—a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .”

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office—leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist—an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand—and fear—the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth.

Norway

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Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus

Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus

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Shadow on the Mountain recounts the adventures of a 14-year-old Norwegian boy named Espen during World War II. After Nazi Germany invades and occupies Norway, Espen and his friends are swept up in the Norwegian resistance movement. Espen gets his start by delivering illegal newspapers, then graduates to the role of courier and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. During five years under the Nazi regime, he gains—and loses—friends, falls in love, and makes one small mistake that threatens to catch up with him as he sets out to escape on skis over the mountains to Sweden.

Preus incorporates archival photographs, maps, and other images to tell this story based on the real-life adventures of Norwegian Erling Storrusten, whom Preus interviewed in Norway.


The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder

The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder

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'My father died eleven years ago. I was only four then. I never thought I'd hear from him again, but now we're writing a book together'

To Georg Røed, his father is no more than a shadow, a distant memory. But then one day his grandmother discovers some pages stuffed into the lining of an old red pushchair. The pages are a letter to Georg, written just before his father died, and a story, 'The Orange Girl'. 

But 'The Orange Girl' is no ordinary story - it is a riddle from the past and centres around an incident in his father's youth. One day he boarded a tram and was captivated by a beautiful girl standing in the aisle, clutching a huge paper bag of luscious-looking oranges. Suddenly the tram gave a jolt and he stumbled forward, sending the oranges flying in all directions. The girl simply hopped off the tram leaving Georg's father with arms full of oranges. Now, from beyond the grave, he is asking his son to help him finally solve the puzzle of her identity.


Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan

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In the bleak winter of 1940, Nazi troops parachuted into Peter Lundstrom's tiny Norwegian village and held it captive. Nobody thought the Nazis could be defeated--until Uncle Victor told Peter how the children could fool the enemy. It was a dangerous plan. They had to slip past Nazi guards with nine million dollars in gold hidden on their sleds. It meant risking their country's treasure--and their lives. This classic story of how a group of children outwitted the Nazis and sent the treasure to America has captivated generations of readers. About the Author: The late Marie McSwigan wrote many novels for young readers, including All Aboard for Freedom. Originally published in 1942.


West of the Moon by Margi Preus

West of the Moon by Margi Preus

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Astri is a young Norwegian girl desperate to join her father in America. After being separated from her sister and sold to a cruel goat farmer, Astri makes a daring escape. She quickly retrieves her little sister, and, armed with a troll treasure, a book of spells and curses, and a possibly magic hairbrush, they set off for America. With a mysterious companion in tow and the malevolent “goatman” in pursuit, the girls head over the Norwegian mountains, through field and forest, and in and out of folktales and dreams as they steadily make their way east of the sun and west of the moon. 


 Is she wearing a glitter top to mountain hike?  

Is she wearing a glitter top to mountain hike?  

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson 

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Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there. 

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age.

Poland

Poland
Ausländer by Paul Dowswell

Ausländer by Paul Dowswell

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When Peter's parents are killed, he is sent to an orphanage in Warsaw. Then German soldiers take him away to be measured and assessed. They decide that Peter is racially valuable. He is Volksdeutscher: of German blood. With his blond hair, blue eyes, and acceptably proportioned head, he looks just like the boy on the Hitler-Jugend poster. Someone important will want to adopt Peter. They do. Professor Kaltenbach is very pleased to welcome such a fine Aryan specimen to his household. People will be envious. But Peter is not quite the specimen they think. He is forming his own ideas about what he is seeing, what he is told. Peter doesn't want to be a Nazi, and so he is going to take a very dangerous risk. The most dangerous risk he could possibly choose to take in Berlin in 1942.


The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly

The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly

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A dramatic tale of 15th century Poland, it tells the story of a courageous young patriot and a mysterious jewel of great value. The beautifully written book, filled with adventure and excitement, gives young readers a vivid picture of Krakow in the early Renaissance."


The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

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Even in the darkest of times—especially in the darkest of times—there is room for strength and bravery. A remarkable memoir from Leon Leyson, one of the youngest children to survive the Holocaust on Oskar Schindler’s list.

Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.

This, the only memoir published by a former Schindler’s List child, perfectly captures the innocence of a small boy who goes through the unthinkable. Most notable is the lack of rancor, the lack of venom, and the abundance of dignity in Mr. Leyson’s telling. The Boy on the Wooden Box is a legacy of hope, a memoir unlike anything you’ve ever read.


Briar Rose (The Fairy Tale Series) by Jane Yolen 

Briar Rose (The Fairy Tale Series) by Jane Yolen 

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A powerful retelling of Sleeping Beauty that is "heartbreaking and heartwarming."

An American Library Association "100 Best Books for Teens"
An American Library Association "Best Books for Young Adults"

Ever since she was a child, Rebecca has been enchanted by her grandmother Gemma's stories about Briar Rose. But a promise Rebecca makes to her dying grandmother will lead her on a remarkable journey to uncover the truth of Gemma's astonishing claim: I am Briar Rose. A journey that will lead her to unspeakable brutality and horror. But also to redemption and hope.

Portugal

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The Arm of the Starfish (O'Keefe Family, #1)  by Madeleine L'Engle 

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When Adam Eddington, a gifted marine biology student, makes the acquaintance of blond and beautiful Kali Cutter at Kennedy International Airport on his way to Portugal to spend the summer working for the renowned scientist Dr. O'Keefe, he has no idea that this seemingly chance meeting will set into motion a chain of events he will be unable to stop. Caught between Kali's seductive wiles and the trusting adoration of Dr. O'Keefe's daughter, Polly, Adam finds himself enmeshed in a deadly power struggle between two groups of people, only one of which can have right on its side. As the danger escalates, Adam must make a decision that could affect the entire world--which side is he on? 

Romania

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The Passport by Herta Müller, Martin Chalmers (Translation)

The Passport by Herta MüllerMartin Chalmers (Translation)

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The Passport is a beautiful, haunting novel whose subject is a German village in Romania caught between the stifling hopelessness of Ceausescu’s dictatorship and the glittering temptations of the West. Stories from the past are woven together with the problems Windisch, the village miller, faces after he applies for permission to migrate to West Germany. Herta Müller (Herta Mueller) describes with poetic attention the dreams and superstitions, conflicts and oppression of a forgotten region, the Banat, in the Danube Plain. In sparse, poetic language, Muller captures the forlorn plight of a trapped people.


Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George 

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As debutantes in 1890s New York City, cousins Dacia and Lou knew little about their mysterious Romanian relatives, the Florescus. Now, upon turning seventeen, the girls must journey to Romania--a journey that seems to be both reward and punishment--to meet their cousins and their tyrant of a grandmother and to learn the secrets of their family. Secrets spoken of in whispers. Dangerous secrets known as the Claw, the Wing, and the Smoke.

But as dangerous as those family secrets might be, even more dangerous is the centuries-old bond between the Florescus and the royal Dracula family, and it seems that it's time for Dacia and Lou to give up their life in New York society and take their place among the servants of the Draculas. When the devilish heir, Mihai Dracula, sets his sights on Dacia as part of his evil, power-hungry plan, the girls must accept or fight against this cruel inheritance. Do they have the courage to break the shackles of their upbringing and set the course of their own destiny?


The Sight (The Sight #1) by David Clement-Davies

The Sight (The Sight #1) by David Clement-Davies 

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In the shadow of an abandoned castle, a wolf pack seeks shelter. The she-wolf's pups will not be able to survive the harsh Transylvanian winter. And they are being stalked by a lone wolf, Morgra, possessed of a mysterious and terrifying power known as the Sight. Morgra knows that one of the pups born beneath the castle holds a key to power even stronger than her own power that could give her control of this world and the next. But the pack she hunts will do anything to protect their own, even if it means setting in motion a battle that will involve all of nature, including the creature the wolves fear the most: Man.

Russia

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The Dogs of Winter by Bobbie Pyron

The Dogs of Winter by Bobbie Pyron

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A small boy, a cruel city, and the incredible dogs who save him.

Based on a true story!

When Ivan's mother disappears, he's abandoned on the streets of Moscow, with little chance to make it through the harsh winter. But help comes in an unexpected form: Ivan is adopted by a pack of dogs, and the dogs quickly become more than just his street companions: They become his family. Soon Ivan, who used to love reading fairytales, is practically living in one, as he and his pack roam the city and countryside, using their wits to find food and shelter, dodging danger, begging for coins. But Ivan can’t stay hidden from the world of people forever. When help is finally offered to him, will he be able to accept it? Will he even want to?

A heart-pounding tale of survival and a moving look at what makes us human.


Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin 

Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin 

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One of Horn Book's Best Fiction Books of 2011

Sasha Zaichik has known the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers since the age of six:
The Young Pioneer is devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism.
A Young Pioneer is a reliable comrade and always acts according to conscience.
A Young Pioneer has a right to criticize shortcomings.
But now that it is finally time to join the Young Pioneers, the day Sasha has awaited for so long, everything seems to go awry. He breaks a classmate's glasses with a snowball. He accidentally damages a bust of Stalin in the school hallway. And worst of all, his father, the best Communist he knows, was arrested just last night.

This moving story of a ten-year-old boy's world shattering is masterful in its simplicity, powerful in its message, and heartbreaking in its plausibility.


Lara's Gift by Annemarie O'Brien

Lara's Gift by Annemarie O'Brien

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Young Lara is being groomed in the family tradition to take over as Count Voronstov's next kennel steward, breeding borzoi dogs worthy of the Tsar. But then Lara's baby brother is born and she finds herself supplanted as her father decides to make her brother the next kennel steward. Going against her father's wishes and becoming increasingly sure of her special gift of understanding these incredible dogs, Lara risks everything when she reveals the truth about her visions. Now she must save Zar, her favorite borzoi and the one she raised from birth, from a hungry pack of wolves. Only then can she find her own, extraordinary destiny. . . .


Sekret (Sekret #1) by Lindsay Smith 

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An empty mind is a safe mind.
 
Yulia knows she must hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive in Communist Russia. But if she sometimes manipulates the black market traders by reading their thoughts when she touches their skin, so what? Anything to help her survive.

Russia's powerful spy agency, the KGB, is recruiting young people with mind-reading capabilities for their psychic espionage program. Their mission: protect the Soviet space program from American CIA spies. Why shouldn't the KGB use any means necessary to make the young psychic cooperate? Anything to beat the American capitalist scum to the moon.

Yulia is a survivor. She won't be controlled by the KGB, who want to harness her abilities for the State with no regard for her own hopes and dreams. She won't let handsome Sergei plan her life as a member of elite Soviet society, or allow brooding Valentin to consume her with his dangerous mind and even more dangerous ideas. And she certainly won't become the next victim of the powerful American spy who can scrub a brain raw—and seems to be targeting Yulia.


Catherine: The Great Journey, Russia, 1743(The Royal Diaries) by Kristiana Gregory

Catherine: The Great Journey, Russia, 1743(The Royal Diaries) by Kristiana Gregory 

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Fourteen-year-old Prussian princess Sophia finds herself entangled in her mother's efforts to arrange a marriage between Sophia and Charles-Peter, a young German duke and nephew of the Russian empress Elizabeth. As Sophia's mother moves to make the match, she and Sophia must travel from their humble home in Zerbst, Prussia, to Russia--the kingdom of Elizabeth. There, Sophia is renamed Catherine and married to Charles-Peter, but she watches helplessly as her family is torn from her, her own mother is involved in a spying ring against the empress, and all that is familiar to her disappears.


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Arcady's Goal by Eugene Yelchin 

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From Newbery Honor–winning author Eugene Yelchin comes another glimpse into Soviet Russia. For twelve-year-old Arcady, soccer is more than just a game. Sent to live in a children's home after his parents are declared enemies of the state, it is a means of survival, securing extra rations, respect, and protection. Ultimately, it proves to be his chance to leave. But in Soviet Russia, second chances are few and far between. Will Arcady seize his opportunity and achieve his goal? Or will he miss his shot?


The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford 

The Boy on the Bridge by Natalie Standiford 

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A new breathtaking novel from Natalie Standiford about love and trust during the Cold War.

Laura Reid goes to Leningrad for a semester abroad as Cold War paranoia is peaking in 1982. She meets a young Russian artist named Alexei and soon, with Alexei as her guide, Laura immerses herself in the real Russia--a crazy world of wild parties, black-market books and music, and smuggled letters to dissidents. She must keep the relationship secret; associating with Americans is dangerous for Alexei, and if caught, Laura could be sent home and Alexei put under surveillance or worse. At the same time, she's been warned that Soviets often latch onto Americans in hopes of marrying them and thus escaping to the United States. But she knows Alexei loves her. Right?

As June approaches--when Laura must return to the United States--Alexei asks Laura to marry him. She's only nineteen and doesn't think she's ready to settle down. But what if Alexei is the love of her life? How can she leave him behind? If she has a chance to change his life, to rescue him from misery, shouldn't she take it?


Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Elizabeth Kiem

Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Elizabeth Kiem 

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Marya is a ballet dancer born of privilege; her mother, Sveta, is the most popular ballet dancer in the Soviet Union and its glamorous face to the West. When Sveta disappears, Marya and her father suspect their own lives are in danger and arrange a harrowing defection. Marya is certain that her father is doomed to be murdered at their new home in Brighton Beach, where his closest friends are unapologetic criminals . . . she’s “seen” him die. Soon she’s drawn into web of intrigue that ultimately reveals the truth about her gift of foresight, her mother's disappearance, and a boy she cannot bring herself to trust. 


The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

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Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.

When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves. 


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The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1) by Evelyn Skye 

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Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip-smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love…or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear—the Crown’s Game is not one to lose. 


The Gathering Storm (Katerina #1) by Robin Bridges

The Gathering Storm (Katerina #1) by Robin Bridges

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St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue.

An evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina's strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar's standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina's help to safeguard Russia, even if he's repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn.

The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?

San Marino

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The Gladiator (Crosstime Traffic #5) by Harry Turtledove

The Gladiator (Crosstime Traffic #5) by Harry Turtledove

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The Soviet Union won the Cold War. The Russians were a little smarter than they were in our own world, and the United States was a little dumber and a lot less resolute. Now, more than a century later, the world's gone Communist, and capitalism is a bad word.
 
For Gianfranco and his friend Annarita, a couple of teenagers growing up in Milan, life in a heavily regimented, surveillance-rich command economy is just plain dreary. The eventual withering-away of the state doesn't look like it's going to happen anytime soon.
 
Annarita's a hard-working student and a member of the Young Socialists' League. Gianfranco is a lot less motivated--but on the other hand, his father's a Party apparatchik. The biggest excitement in their lives is a wargame shop called The Gladiator, which runs tournaments, and stocks marvelous complex games you can't find anywhere else.
 
Then, abruptly, the shop is shut down. Someone's figured out that The Gladiator's games are teaching counterrevolutionary capitalist principles. The Security Police are searching high and low for the shop's proprietors, who've not only vanished into thin air, but have left behind sets of fingerprints that aren't in the records of any government on earth.
 
Only one staffer is left: Gianfranco and Annarita's friend Eduardo. He's on the run, and he comes to them in secret with an astonishing story: he's a time trader from our own timeline, accidentally left behind when the store was evacuated. The only way Eduardo can get home to his own timeline is if Gianfranco and Annarita can help him reach one of the other time trader sites in this world--and the Security Police will be on their tails all the way there.

Serbia

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The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht

The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht

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Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend, loss, and love, Téa Obreht, the youngest of The New Yorker’s twenty best American fiction writers under forty, has spun a timeless novel that will establish her as one of the most vibrant, original authors of her generation.

In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her. Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets hidden in the landscape itself.

But Natalia is also confronting a private, hurtful mystery of her own: the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. After telling her grandmother that he was on his way to meet Natalia, he instead set off for a ramshackle settlement none of their family had ever heard of and died there alone. A famed physician, her grandfather must have known that he was too ill to travel. Why he left home becomes a riddle Natalia is compelled to unravel.

Grief struck and searching for clues to her grandfather’s final state of mind, she turns to the stories he told her when she was a child. On their weeklytrips to the zoo he would read to her from a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which he carried with him everywhere; later, he told her stories of his own encounters over many years with “the deathless man,” a vagabond who claimed to be immortal and appeared never to age. But the most extraordinary story of all is the one her grandfather never told her, the one Natalia must discover for herself. One winter during the Second World War, his childhood village was snowbound, cut off even from the encroaching German invaders but haunted by another, fierce presence: a tiger who comes ever closer under cover of darkness. “These stories,” Natalia comes to understand, “run like secret rivers through all the other stories” of her grandfather’s life. And it is ultimately within these rich, luminous narratives that she will find the answer she is looking for. 


This Is Serbia Calling by Matthew Collin

This Is Serbia Calling by Matthew Collin

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Presents the story of a courageous group of young people living under Milosevic's repressive rule who waged a 10-year battle for freedom, armed only with a radio transmitter and a dream of truth, justice and another kind of life. This book chronicles a decade (1990-2000) in which the legendary radio station B92 kept alive the voices of dissent.

Slovakia

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Katarina by Kathryn Winter

Katarina by Kathryn Winter

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During World War II, a Jewish orphan is living with her aunt and uncle when she is rounded up with other Jews, and sent to live in a peasant household. When her Judaism is discovered, she is asked to leave and wanders from village to village, confused by the threat that hangs over her, but maintained by a fierce belief in her eventual return to her family.


Siren of the Waters (Commander Jana Matinova #1) by Michael Genelin

Siren of the Waters (Commander Jana Matinova #1) by Michael Genelin

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Jana entered the Czechoslovak police force as young woman, married an actor, and became a mother. The Communist regime destroyed her husband, their love for one another, and her daughter’s respect for her. But she has never stopped being a seeker of justice.

Now, she has risen to the rank of commander in the Slovak police force and is based in the capital, Bratislava, a crossroads of central Europe. She liaises with colleagues across the continent to track a master criminal whose crimes include extortion, murder, kidnapping, and the operation of a vast human trafficking network.

This investigation takes her from Kiev in Ukraine to the headquarters of the European Community in Strasbourg, France; from Vienna to Nice during the Carnival, as she searches for a ruthless killer and the beautiful young Russian woman he is determined to either capture or destroy.