One Stone Left Unturned by Marianna Heusler (Wild Child Publishing, 2013, 230pp.)
Augusta Ashford’s life has become considerably more difficult since her grandmother, Elvira, developed Alzheimer’s. Augusta is already picked on on a regular basis, and now she has to defend her grandmother’s peculiar antics to her bullying mother. Elvira has a habit of taking things that aren’t hers, the most recent of which is a precious tourmaline she found in the basement of a ruined Catholic church—but it isn’t any ordinary stone. Augusta soon discovers that the stone has miraculous healing properties. Meanwhile, almost 100 years earlier, we learn that the young princess Tatiana Romanov also owned the stone, and used it to ease the symptoms of her younger brother’s hemophilia while in her family was held in captivity. Interweaving the two stories of the doomed czar’s family in Russia, and the American teenager, Augusta Ashford, One Stone Left Unturned is both a fresh, suspenseful take on the Romanov murders, and a sensitive fable about grief and loss. Recommended for Ages 12-15.