Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Loud Silence of Francine Green

*Sorry for the double post today*
Francine lives in America in 1949/1950 at the beginning of the Cold Ward when everyone was fearful of Communists and bombs and Senator McCarthy was beginning his inquiries.  She is a quiet girl who wants nothing more than to stay out of trouble.  She cannot even write a big part for herself in the screenplay in her head.  But when Francine meets the irrepressible Sophie, things begin to change for Francine and she begins to think outside of her own neighborhood and into the world beyond.

Favorite quote: "I think it's wrong when people look like something they're not."

This was my Random Word (Silence) book for the Take a Chance Challenge.  It was different from what I expected.  I thought it was going to be about a girl who likes movie stars and is quiet and silly and that's about it.  But I was wrong.  I mean, Francine does like movie stars and is quiet, but she is worrying about big issues like the H-bomb and Communisim and none of the adults will listen to her or talk to her about the state of the world.  I guess, in the 1950's, children and especially girls weren't taken seriously and were expected to be quiet and accept things the way they are, to stand still and look pretty so to speak.  Francine makes friends with Sophie, who doesn't accept the status quo and asks a lot of questions and gets in trouble a lot.  Sophie makes Francine think about what is going on in the world.

It was interesting to see this era through the eyes of a girl.  It was funny how they thought if you ducked under a desk, then you'd be okay in the event of a nuclear blast.  And how radioactivity wasn't really that dangerous.  There was also a small view of the damage that Senator McCarthy did with his inquiries.  Sophie's father is a screenwriter and he and his friends fall under scrutiny. The fallout was so sad.  The ending made me sad, but it was well worth the read.

Thus ends my part of the Take a Chance Challenge. It was so much fun.


  1. Current YA about that time period? Interesting. It's like bringing people to understand something from back then.

    Where do you come up with all this stuff?? I swear i learn about more YA books from you than anyone!

  2. Thanks!
    Well, for the Take a Chance Challenge, I looked up the word Silence and YA so I got this book. And for your challenge I just did a GLBT YA search. But others I just pick up here and there.

    I got mad research skillz from my 5 years of being a reference librarian.

  3. An interesting find ... and it does seem ludicrous to think that a desk would protect you, doesn't it? I like that it was set in in a different era -- one I don't really know that much about. Thanks for participating in the challenge!


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