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Inspired by a true story, a novel for children that has the courage to show the dangerous charm of dictatorship, in the years that preceded and prepared the Resistance.

Italy, 1938. Alida is 14 years old: with her calm gaze and head held high, she feels proud to be a young fascist. Mussolini, known in Italy as “Il Duce”, keeps a close watch over the country, giving Alida a sense of reassurance. But then her confidence begins to waver: is it right that her Jewish friend Miriam can’t attend school? And why has Aunt Isabella, who has been critical of Il Duce, disappeared? Gradually Alida learns the answers, and is faced with a major decision: can a person really go against everything she’s been taught in life?

Elisa Castiglioni studied fiction and writing for children in the United States. She has been working on multiculturalism for about ten years. She has collaborated with the American magazine FACES whose mission is to overcome cultural barriers. She teaches Italian language and culture at the IES Abroad center in Milan. For the past few years, she has been holding writing workshops related to the theme of multiculturalism and diversity and she is involved in teacher training.