Simon Sebag Montefiore's 1997 novel set in the early mid-1970s. Weak and mild 11-year-old William is bullied at boarding school. Then he comes across an article about Stalin, and reinvents himself as the pint-sized embodiment of the tyrant. Soon the school is plunged into espionage, paranoia, torture, a reign of terror, and World War II, as William's minions create the KGB and his schoolboy enemies bring into being their own version of Hitler. It'll all end in tears. It's funny. And you'll learn history while reading it.

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