The Silenced, the book
August 30, 2008
The following synopsis comes from the school library journal posted on the Amazon web site.
The Silenced begins with Marena running late for her bus that takes her from her readaptation community to her Youth Training Facility. Classes are lead by instructors of public enlightenment and consist of recitation of Zero Tolerance Party propaganda. Stern, silent state officers patrol the halls. As the book progresses, Marena begins to remember things that she was somehow made to forget. It becomes clear to her that her father was there when the state officers dragged her mother from their home years before. As regulations tighten, she isn't sure who she can trust besides her boyfriend, Dex, and newcomer Eric. She realizes that, like her mother, she cannot remain silent in the face of state oppression. The three friends choose graffiti as their primary form of rebellion. DeVita's novel has many of the same character types and situations as other dystopic works—the enemy who has a change of heart, the unsympathetic character who nevertheless proves to be brave, and the friend who is a traitor. While readers may not find any conceptual surprises, this is a gripping read and young adults will certainly empathize with the characters' conflicts between self-expression and a desire to fit in. They will find the Zero Tolerance credo that the state's first priority must be the safety of its citizens to have a chilling resonance with statements in the news today.—Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
While The Silenced is marketed for grade 7 and up, many adults have enjoyed this novel by James Devita. I heard about the novel on the NPR radio show To The Best Of Our Knowledge. Having read it, I am chilled by the similarities to the Bush Administration which we have lived through in the last 8 years. I think this is an important book that all Americans read who are concerned about the direction which our country has been going in especially in the last 8 years.