November 25, 2007

You Have No Right to be Silent

This book is a 2007 Fantasy and Science Fiction Cybils Award Nominee.

The Zero Tolerance Party: it's no longer just a name or a political theory held by a few. It's invaded Marena's life. It's taken away her mother, and put her father under house arrest. And now it's invading her school.

It wouldn't be so bad if Mr. Greengritch had come to just talk -- everybody at the Spring Valley Re-Dap Community is used to that, just like they're used to fingerprint scans, random body searches, no privacy and no recourse. But, it's still school, and school is always the same, right? The JJ-girls -- jingle-jangle they call themselves, because of their jewelry -- are air-headed and cute, and used to ignoring people in favor of their own prattle. The nukes - new kids - are too scared to listen, separated as they are from their families and sent to the community to learn what Zero Tolerance really means. Marena is used to being able to give her boyfriend a sidelong glance and ignore the static from the adults. But Mr. Greengritch is right there, in their faces. He got their favorite teacher "disappeared." He's brought in vicious people who shave their heads, make them fight for their food, train them until they're at peak physical excellence -- and on the verge of complete physical breakdown. He's told them that it's time to change who they think they are. He does this by telling them they are no one at all.

Marena has already begun to suspect that she was no one at all -- her father has faded into being wallpaper, under the thumb of the Zero Tolerance party, he's not the same person her mother had loved. Her mother had died for her beliefs, why can't Marena's father at least live for his? Marena believes it's all up to her -- to preserve her mother's memory. To act.

She is tired of being one of The Silenced.

This brilliant and terrifying dystopian novel sucks the reader down in one swallow. Based loosely on the history of Sophie Scholl, the young German woman who reisisted the Nazi ideology by forming and participating in the resistance cell called the White Rose, this book is a hopeful and strongly heard clarion call for young people to become active in their beliefs. In the face of tyranny, you have no right to be silent.

4 comments:

a. fortis said...

Ooh, looks like a good one!! I'll have to put it on my must-read pile...

Anonymous said...

It is a very good book!! You don't have the right to be SILENCED!!!

T.Devona said...

I have read this book also!! I'm 13 years old and my reading class reads this book!!! May I say wonderful! Wonderful!! Wonderful!! Bravo!!!! LOL!!

a. fortis said...

I did get to this one, finally--what a great read! If you enjoyed this one, you might like "Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party" by Ying Chang Compestine (review on the way)--equally scary, but based on real-life events.