Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman

Title: The Loud Silence of Francine Green
Author: Karen Cushman
Reviewer: Stephanie
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Rating: Worship
Alerts/Warnings: Some mentions of alcohol and tobacco.
Premise: Nobody is seeking out Francine Green's ideas about anything. To her parents, Franny is a naive child; to the nuns at her school, she's just another quiet eighth grader. Francine's silent streak ends, however, with the arrival of outspoken Sophie Bowman at All Saints School for Girls. Sophie's strong opinions challenge received opinions about major issues; things like free speech, the atomic bomb, even the existence of God. (goodreads.com)
Opinions: There are two reasons I picked up this book to read. The title was one, the author was the other. Karen Cushman is a masterful writer of historical fiction. She is thorough in her research and a very skilled writer. When I heard about this book, I have to admit, I was a little suprised. This was not a middle ages novel. This was a novel set in 1950's Hollywood. So I admit. She hooked me with the title. So I read it, and WOW! I really like books that deal with unfairness and someone standing up for what is right and not what is popular. Francine is this interesting character in that she wants to stand up for what is right, but she also wants to fit in. How many times has that happened to any of us? It is fascinating how Francine evolves in a world that is so highly charged with the threat of communism and the atomic bomb. This is a fascinating look into a girl's life at a difficult time in our country. (PS I hosted this book for my book club and we had an amazing discussion. Just sayin'. There are lots of things to think about and talk about here.)

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