Don’t Breathe a Word

Jordyn Taylor. HarperTeen, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-303888-2
With its boarding school setting and intertwined pair of timelines, this solid novel by Taylor (The Paper Girl of Paris) calls to mind the Truly Devious series. The narrator of the present-day thread is Manhattanite Eva, who recently started as a junior at Upstate New York’s tony Hardwick Preparatory Academy. Eager to make friends, Eva is thrilled when she’s tapped to join the Fives, a secret society, and vows to do what it takes to become a part of the glamorous crowd. Back in 1962, timid Connie, 16, is persuaded to join an experiment dreamed up by Hardwick’s charismatic new faculty member, Mr. Kraus. To test a program that Mr. Kraus says will prepare people for the reality of life after a nuclear attack, Connie and five other students, including her crush Craig, spend four days of spring break locked in the school’s fallout shelter. Through their chatty first-person narratives, Eva and Connie, both white, neatly convey their contrasting personalities and eras while revealing their growing uneasiness with their respective situations. As the novel’s pace accelerates, ratcheting up the tension, the connections between the two girls’ stories become ever clearer. A persuasive argument for the virtues of questioning groupthink and looking beyond glittering surfaces. Ages 13–up. Agent: Danielle Burby, Nelson Literary. (May)
Reviewed on : 04/01/2021
Release date: 05/18/2021
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-0-06-303890-5
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