Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Loud Silence of Francine Green

Eighth grader Francine Green is growing up in a time still reeling from war and where Communists are greatly feared. The story follows Francine from the summer of 1949 through to the summer of 1950, as she becomes friends with Sophie Bowman, a girl not afraid to speak her mind. The girls attend All Saints Girls School, a Catholic school run by the strictest nuns. Nuns that refuse freedom of speech at every turn. Sophie does not follow the rules, always asking questions and wondering out loud about why things are the way they are and that fact is what gets her ruled as a troublemaker. Francine sometimes wishes Sophie would just shut up, but other times wishes she, herself could be more outspoken.

As the school year goes on and the threat of Communists grows, as does Sophie's outbursts, Francine grows frightened for her friend, yet also admires her. The reader gets to see what a true friendship in scary times can really be like, with very realistic dialogue, perfect for the setting of the story.

I found the characters compelling and I loved Sophie, though found myself more like Francine. There were always times when I wanted to speak up and ask questions about why things were happening, but just sat back and hoped someone else would do so. Francine Cushman did a great job with this coming of age story.


Booklogged said...

Sounds good. Is it a young adult novel?

Amanda said...

Middle grade fiction actually. At least, that's what I've placed it in at my library!

Debi said...

Oh, definitely sounds like one for Annie! Thanks yet again, Amanda!

Kailana said...

This one looks interesting. I might have to check it out.