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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Italy Republic Day: Books set in Italy

On this day in 1946, Italy voted on what form its post-fascist government would take-- republic or monarchy. They chose republic! Now, June 2 is Festa della Repubblica Italiana, or Republic Day, and Italy's big National Holiday (think, Italian 4th of July.)

To celebrate, here are a list of books that take place in Italy!

    

Getting the Boot by Peggy Guthart Strauss. When Kelly signed up to spend the summer studying in Rome, she had big plans of a luxurious Italian vacation-- not the dorm room realities. Luckily, there's a cute boy who likes to party every night just like Kelly. But the purpose of this trip was to study, not be wasted all summer-- can Kelly pull her act together in time to avoid getting kicked out?

Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill. Maria wants nothing more than to follow in the family business of glassblowing. But in Renaissance Italy, that's not an option for a girl. Maria's destined to marry nobility, for the good of the family, despite her desires and needs.

Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson. Three days before drama club goes to Italy, Jessa catches her boyfriend making out with another girl. Even worse-- they're both on the trip, too, so Jessa has to continue witnessing their new status! So Jessa's best friend sends along a care package with reasons why Sean's a jerk and a list of un-Jessa-like things for her to do, every day.

    

The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper. Kate's won a competition to study Romeo and Juliet in Verona. As part of her studies, she has to help answer the many letters that people all over the world send to Verona to ask Juliet for love advice. But Kate's heart has recently been broken--she's not sure she's up for the job. The result gets plot points from many of Shakespeare's plays. For more information about the real-life Juliet Club, readers may also want to check out Letters to Juliet: Celebrating Shakespeare's Greatest Heroine, the Magical City of Verona, and the Power of Love.

The Sweet Life by Rebecca Lim. After her mother dies, Janey jumps at the chance to go to Italy to reconnect with some relatives she's never met. Once there, she's living large with two admirers and great new clothes, but she also has an internet stalker, one that keeps leaving her threats that tie back to her family.

Arcadia Awakens by Kai Meyer, translated from the German by Anthea Bell. Rosa's off to Sicily to visit her family. There she meets Alessandro, but theirs is a Romeo and Juliet story, as they belong to rival mafia families. In addition to ancient family grudges, there is mythology at work here, too-- something Rosa discovers when she runs into a Tiger that has Alessandro's eyes. The first in a trilogy, follow it with Arcadia Burns.

    

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund. After she's attacked by killer unicorns, Astrid is forced to admit that her mother's unicorn stories (so very different than everyone else's) are true. Unicorns are evil, and only virgin girls descended from Alexander the Great can kill them (and they must be stopped.) So Astrid is sent to Rome to train, but being a virgin unicorn killer isn't that easy in a modern world. The first in a trilogy, follow it with Ascendant.

Are We There Yet? by David Levithan. Brothers Elijah and Danny are complete opposites. Elijah is a high school slacker, Danny an early-twenties workaholic. Their parents trick them into going to Italy together, where the brothers drive each other insane. When they both fall for the same girl, it just gets that much more complicated.

Venom by Fiona Paul. Renaissance Venice seems to be the place for secret societies! When Cassandra finds a murdered woman with an 'x' carved on her chest, she's drawn into a murder investigation filled with conspiracies and secret societies and the underbelly of the elite. Glittering and steamy, this is the first in the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series. The second, Belladonna comes out in July.

What are your favorite books set in Italy? Do you know of any teen books originally written in Italian?

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