Open Hearts Against the War

Escaping from war, friendship becomes a bridge, a shield against violence and bullying

What is life like at thirteen? Well, friends come first, Sasha and Alex have no doubts about that. Then there’s school, sport, or that special person you keep running into everywhere, who knows why. But what if, one day, there’s a war? In Ukraine, Sasha suddenly has to deal with this: war isn’t like a videogame. In a flash it takes everything away from him, even his dreams. He has to escape. Luckily, in Italy, there’s Alex’s family to welcome him and his little sister, so they can continue to study and live a more or less normal life. But hatred and bullying are making their way even among the desks and classrooms at school... Sasha and Alex don’t give in, and invent a plan inspired by the 1942 endeavour of the Dinamo Kiev heroes, in order to prove that violence can never win over solidarity and a sense of justice.

  • A modern tale, told in the present, with a strong teenage point of view, full of dialogue and light descriptions.
  • Important topical themes like school, inclusivity, war, hospitality, family, friendship.
  • The book is enhanced by interesting history capsules to improve understanding of Ukrainian culture and some aspects of the Russian-Ukrainian war, also useful for classwork.
  • Sport as a moment of integration overcoming conflicts.


GENRE Coming-of-age, Educational
FIRST PUBLISHER Mondadori Electa (Italy), 2022