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THE DISAPPEARED by Gloria Whelan


by Gloria Whelan

Pub Date: June 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3275-9
Publisher: Dial Books

When she was little, Silvia loved visiting the zoo, where “danger was safely caged,” and the theater, where the misery and murder on stage disappeared when the curtain came down. But now, in Buenos Aires in 1977, danger is afoot and people are Disappearing. In alternating chapters, Silvia and her older brother Eduardo write to each other in their hearts, an unusual narrative contrivance—not quite letters, but not journals or diaries either. Though Whelan has a poet’s eye for similes, an overuse of figurative language, coupled with the structural contrivance, detracts from an otherwise carefully researched and thoughtfully developed portrait of Argentina under despotic rule. The simple prose style belies the troubling and sometimes graphic content, though the novel ends with a realistic resolution and guarded hope. This will be a new subject for most young readers, and it will be eye opening. (epilogue, bibliography) (Fiction. 12 & up)