“I had been a bystander all my life,” says fourteen-year-old Genevieve, an aspiring poet. It’s 1954, and in her small, hurricane-ravaged North Carolina town, she feels at odds with current social conventions. Then Brenda Wompers, a new student from California whose favorite word is “antiestablishmentarian,” changes everything at school. Together with her parents, Brenda begins to speak out against nuclear power and other controversial topics, and as the conservative community openly rejects the Wompers family, Gen struggles to define her own beliefs about the political debates, as well as her feelings about friendship and family.
- “With impressive, well-integrated detail, Krisher creates a strong portrait of the time period, with scenes that swing from Tupperware parties to bomb shelters, all narrated in Gen’s earnest, thought-provoking voice.” Booklist
- “Krisher explores the storms of human nature and the ‘human tendency to factions and cliques, to whisperings and rumors, to control and power.’ It’s a story of witches, in the McCarthy witch-hunts, in the Salem witch trials studied in school and in the meanness of high-school cliques...,and the lesson Genevieve learns—that “Salem was in our nature”—will linger in readers’ minds. A rich novel full of topics for discussion. Kirkus Reviews
- “Written from the perspective of a sheltered teen growing up during the Cold War, this book vividly shows the detrimental effects of unleashed suspicions and wide-spread fear. As Krisher traces Genevieve's awakening to ideas that contradict her conservative parents' beliefs, the author also paints a vibrant picture of Senator McCarthy's influence on American society during the 1950s. Publishers Weekly