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Who can Lena trust to help her find out the truth?

Life in East Germany in the early 1980s is not easy for most people, but for Lena, it's particularly hard. After the death of her parents in a factory explosion and time spent in a psychiatric hospital recovering from the trauma, she is sent to live with her stern aunt, a devoted member of the ruling Communist Party. Visits with her beloved Uncle Erich, a best-selling author, are her only respite.

But one night, her uncle disappears without a trace. Gone also are all his belongings, his books, and even his birth records. Lena is desperate to know what happened to him, but it's as if he never existed.

The worst thing, however, is that she cannot discuss her uncle or her attempts to find him with anyone, not even her best friends. There are government spies everywhere. But Lena is unafraid and refuses to give up her search, regardless of the consequences.

This searing novel about defiance, courage, and determination takes readers into the chilling world of a society ruled by autocratic despots, where nothing is what it seems.

About the Author

Michelle Barker

Michelle Barker was born in Vancouver, BC. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from UBC, and went on to work as an editor and researcher before turning to writing full time. Her newest novel, The House of One Thousand Eyes, was named a YA Buzz Book for Fall 2018 by Publishers' Lunch, as well as a Junior Library Guild gold standard pick. Kirkus Reviews called it "stunning and compassionate." It has received three starred reviews--from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and School Library Connection.Michelle is also the author of A Year of Borrowed Men, a historical picture book and finalist for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. She has published short fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in literary reviews, magazines and newspapers around the world. In 2002, she won a gold National Magazine Award in personal journalism. Her chapbook, Old Growth, Clear-Cut: Poems of Haida Gwaii, was published by Leaf Press in 2012. Her first novel, The Beggar King, was published by Thistledown Press.Michelle has sailed across the Pacific Ocean, lived in Israel, France, and Quebec, gotten lost in the woods (twice) , and won an epic canoe race across Moraine Lake in Alberta. She is divorced with four children, and lives in Vancouver, BC. She has an MFA in creative writing from UBC, works as an editor and mentor, and does triathlons. Please visit her at www.michellebarker.ca

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