The Silenced
The Silenced (back cover)
Young Readers

The Silenced

A Novel
“This is far and away the best young adult novel I have read for years.”—LOUISE ERDRICH
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Marena struggles to remember what life was like before the Zero Tolerance Party installed listening devices in every home. Before they murdered her mother and put her father under house arrest. A time when difference was celebrated.

When the new Minister of Education cracks down in her school, eliminating personal expression and independent thought, Marena decides she has to fight back. Fueled by her memories and animated by her mother’s spirit, Marena forms a resistance group–the White Rose. With little more than words, Marena defies the state officers lurking around every corner, and embarks on a campaign of life-affirming civil disobedience.

The Silenced draws on the true story of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose, a movement that courageously resisted the Nazis. In an era when new technologies are accompanied by increasing surveillance, this is a powerfully relevant story of the enormous change that is possible when one person is courageous enough to speak the truth to power.

Publish Date
5.5 × 8.5 × 1.19 in
20.3 oz

James DeVita

James DeVita is an author, actor, and theater director. He has published numerous plays and three award-winning novels for young readers, including The Silenced. DeVita is a core company member and literary manager at the American Players Theater, a professional classical repertory company in Spring Green, Wisconsin.

Praise and Prizes

  • “This is far and away the best young adult novel I have read for years… . It has a marvelously vibrant and courageous young heroine, and friends who may betray or help—hard to predict. Best of all it is based on one of the most ultimately tough young women to grace this earth. The White Rose. After reading this book, you will want to read more about her.”

    Louise Erdrich
  • “Fast-paced and suspenseful … Powerful … Aimed at young adults, and possessing the reach to snare adult readers, too, this is a 1984 for our age.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • “Tautly plotted … Ripe for discussion.”

  • “This surrealistic and grim world, wherein children are recruited to spy on their parents, lobotomized resisters are turned into unquestioning guards, and painting a rose can get you murdered, is hauntingly well developed, serving as the perfect challenge for the irascible and resolute Marena… . Compelling protagonist, terrifyingly realistic setting, and gripping pace.”

    Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
  • “Gripping suspense combined with satisfyingly capable teen characters.”