A YA thriller delves into the post-WWII history of Poland and Ukraine

Natalie Sanford of Bound Booksellers and Gifts in Franklin, Tenn. recommends a WWII thriller that’s written for—but not limited to—Young Adult readers. The novel is “The Silent Unseen” by Amanda McCrina.

Hands touch each other on book cover
"The Silent Unseen" by Amanda McCrina
Macmillan Publishers

McCrina’s historical fiction novels, which explore the relationships between Poland, Ukraine, and Russia take on a sudden timeliness during on the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. “The Silent Unseen,” is set in Poland in 1944.

A 16-year-old girl, returning from forced labor in Nazi Germany, discovers that fighting between Polish Resistance and Ukrainian nationals have left her village destroyed.

Her parents have been killed, and her older brother is a member of the Polish resistance—until his disappears. Determined to find her brother, she must partner with a Ukrainian prisoner, whom she hesitates to trust.

Sanford calls McCrina an “intelligent author who knows her history and has created stories for young adults to really fall in love with the characters.”

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