The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman

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Synopsis

Francine Green doesn’t speak up much, and who can blame her? Her parents aren’t interested in her opinions, the nuns at school punish girls who ask too many questions, and the House Committee on Un-American Activities is blacklisting people who express unpopular ideas. There’s safety in silence. Francine would rather lose herself in a book, or in daydreams about her favorite Hollywood stars, than risk attracting attention or getting in trouble.

But when outspoken, passionate Sophie Bowman transfers into Francine’s class at All Saints School for Girls, Francine finds herself thinking about things that never concerned her before—free speech, the atom bomb, the existence of God, the way people treat each other. Eventually, Francine discovers that she not only has something to say, she is absolutely determined to say it.

Once again, Karen Cushman follows a young woman’s progress toward her true self, this time exploring the nature of friendship and the experience of growing up Catholic in an era that is both fascinating and relevant to today’s young people. Author’s note.
 

About Karen Cushman

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Karen Cushman has a long-standing interest in history. She says, "I grew tired of hearing about kings, princes, generals and presidents. I wanted to know what life was like for ordinary young people in other times." Research into medieval English history and culture led to the writing of Catherine Called Birdy,winner of the 1995 Newbery Honor Award, and The Midwife's Apprentice, winner of the 1996 Newbery Medal. Her research moved in a new diredtion as she learned about nineteenth century women and children for The Ballad of Lucy Whipple. Ms. Cushman was born in Chicago, Illinois. She received an M.A. in Human Behavior and one in Museum Studies. She and her husband and daughter share their Oakland, California, home with two cats, a dog and a rabbit.
 
Published August 14, 2006 by Clarion Books. 242 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Loud Silence of Francine Green

Kirkus Reviews

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It’s 1949, and 13-year-old Francine Green lives in “the land of ‘Sit down, Francine’ and ‘Be quiet, Francine’ ” at All Saints School for Girls in Los Angeles.

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Publishers Weekly

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Sophie's father, a screenwriter, allows readers to see the havoc wreaked upon his peers (one, a Jewish actor being shadowed by the FBI and pressured to give up names, commits suicide), and the Russian owners of a vandalized local store voice the irony of their situation ("That's why Petrov and I ...

Jun 26 2006 | Read Full Review of The Loud Silence of Francine ...

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