Olga. A story of peace in wartime

Two very young lives overturned by the war,
fighting to stay human.

August 1943. In a German holding camp, a voice shouts “Olga Boldireva” and a 13-year-old Russian girl comes forward from a corner of the hut, fair-haired and blank-eyed. She’s has been torn away from her hometown into forced labour, as a slave.

At that very moment, in another town, Hans looks in the mirror, pleased, and sees the confident smile of a young man in his Hitler Youth uniform. The eldest of three children, he is going with his family to receive the state assistance guaranteed by law: a nanny.

From the moment Olga is welcomed into Hans’s home to look after his younger sister, a friendship is born between them, as special as it is unexpected. But while she finds possible freedom in the twists and turns of the war, Hans is called to the Front for the Ardennes offensive. And in an instant he must forget that he’s little more than a child, and become a soldier.

  • A true story of the author’s family (Kemp is an invented name: in reality, Olga was sent to a family named Hill).

  • A condemnation of war, death and destruction, but pointing a finger above all at the effect of war on people’s humanity, regardless of who they side with.

  • Represents the struggle of ‘normal life’, family life full of small things, to withstand great events that come from above to overturn lives.
GENRE Historical, Action, True Story
TARGET 12+
FIRST PUBLISHER Rizzoli (Italy), 2022

CHRISTIAN HILL

Christian was born in Milan in 1967. He studied aeronautical engineering but after university he decided that planes would remain a hobby, and dedicated his time to his other passions: role-playing games, journalism, photography and, of course, writing, especially children’s books. He has published many books, including Il ladro dei cieli (Cento Prize 2020) and Io Sono Jai, published by Rizzoli.