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The Silenced

by James  DeVita

Published by Eos / Laura Geringer Books / HarperCollins, 2007
504 pages
ISBN: 0060784628

Age 13 and older

Imagine a future where our government monitors every move of its citizens, where independent thought is suspect, when dissent is deadly. Teenage Marena can barely remember when life was any other way. The Zero Tolerance Party has ruled the United States since she was a child. Her mother, an outspoken journalist, was arrested and executed in the early days of the party’s rule. Now, the insidious level of mistrust and fear that permeates the country has become normal . . . almost. Living with her father and younger brother in a government-controlled community, attending a school whose purpose is to teach students to be compliant, unquestioning citizens. Marena and two friends begin a campaign to defy government authority. They call themselves the White Rose Movement in honor of Marena’s mother, who often referred to the White Rose in the articles Marena keeps secreted away. Marena has no way of knowing her mother was referencing another time of resistance and the work of another group of young people—the White Rose Movement against Adolf Hitler, led by Sophie and Hans Scholl in Munich, Germany, during World War II. James DeVita presents a harrowing yet hopeful journey through the darkness of political repression and mind control in a novel that is at once far removed from the present day and eerily recognizable. His provocative, highly discussable story is driven by a riveting plot as the net slowly closes in on Marena and her friends in a novel in which betrayal and heroism are sometimes difficult to distinguish. DeVita’s author’s note provides background on Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Movement.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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