With the military junta in power in Chile, and in ruthless pursuit of all who oppose it, 16-year-old Andres Larreta becomes a wanted man. To be seen with others is to put them in peril, and to be captured is to risk a journey to the dreaded House of Laughter. This novel won The Other Award.
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Thanks to many teachers, this story has still got a life.
One of my greatest pleasures gained from responses to this political thriller is that it makes even the reluctant reader turn the pages. 'Talking in Whispers' some time ago won the German book prize, The Buxtehuder Bulle, given for teenage fiction dealing with human rights themes. I was delighted to see that 50% of the prize-giving jury was made up of young readers themselves. My main hope is that the novel will prompt young people to try later books of mine, such as 'No Surrender', set in war-torn Angola, 'Ticket To Prague', about life in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain and my latest book, 'Justice of the Dagger', set in East Timor and dealing with the repression of the people of that island by their Indonesian overlords.
'In Chile, where the military Junta rules, knowing the truth is enough to put your life at risk.'
Here was terrible danger. The photographer had been snapped by the officer's eye. He turned to Andres: 'Take this – I beg you. The film in that camera…'
For an eternal second Andres stood and watched as the journalist was dragged away. He trembled as if touched by an electrified fence. Till now, he had wandered helplessly, insignificant. His brain, his heart, his passionate resolve – they were nothing in the face of the Junta's untouchable strength.
But now, a brief encounter has changed everything. All at once, he has a direction. The film is worth more than bullets. He must join those brave people who are speaking out, no longer talking in whispers.
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Book Description 1992-09-10., 1992. Book Condition: New. HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks. New Ed. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 142pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1703204