I have just finished reading The Silenced by James DeVita. This Young Adult novel is based on the story of Sophie Scholl - an anti-Nazi activist during World War II. This book, however, is set in a quasi-futuristic, post-war world where the state controls everything, and the people that are unfortunate enough to remember life before the war must be re-educated. Those who resist, are either "neutralized" or forced to undergo a gruesome surgery that effectively takes away their ability to speak, read, write or talk - or to think for themselves.
I read this novel in preparation for a Teen/Parent Book Discussion that is going on tomorrow night at the Verona Public Library. I was quite honored to be recommended by one of the staff to the Children's Librarian to lead this discussion, and I'm really looking forward to discussing this with the patrons!
I think that DeVita's goal of mixing true history with the new scenario is a really great way of introducing the events to a new audience. If you knew Sophie Scholl's story going into the novel, you could easily recognize the events of her life showing up in the pages. On the other hand, if you didn't know it - you could read this novel as a chilling reminder of what could easily happen if leadership or government becomes corrupt and falls into nefarious hands.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what the other readers thought of this novel, I'll update this post after our book discussion tomorrow night!
Update after the Teen/Parent Book Discussion: I had a great time last night! The girls all really liked this book and there was a lot to talk about. One of the mom/kid pairs had gone last weekend to see DeVita in Spring Green and added a lot of extra information about his life and how he became a writer.