The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Italian / Italy

Il piccolo regno

(The small realm)

Wu Ming 4 (text)
Mazzoleni, Federico (illus.)
Milano: Bompiani, [2016]. – 231 p.
ISBN 978-88-452-8112-9

England  | History 1935  | Summer  | Holidays  | Coming of age

Reading age: 12+

White Ravens issue: 2016


This novel is a literary masterpiece brimming with suspense, fantasy, intimacy, and commonality; exuding an atmosphere both bright and enigmatic. The book tells the story of a childhood coming to an end in the 1930s from the point of view of a boy who spends his summer holidays in the English countryside with his three cousins and their parents. Two worlds are juxtaposed: the world of the adults, the big people, and that of the children, the small people. The children’s world is full of adventures, secrets, arguments, hideouts, dares, and acts of defiance. It consists of unknown territories that need to be explored, of the supernatural, and of changes. In the adults’ world, there are relationships, unspoken truths, and the so-called Fabianism, an intellectual movement of the time, intent on developing a new society. All of this is played out against the backdrop of the unstable political situation in Europe, which will soon after cause deep wounds for innumerable people.