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The Silence of Our Friends by M. Long & J. Demonakos

Long, Mark & Jim Demonakos. The Silence of Our Friends. New York: First Second, 2012.  Print.

This story is told from the perspective of a boy whose father was a reporter in the city of Houston, Texas. In the year 1967, in the midst of the Civil Rights movement many families struggled to find freedom in their racist communities.  During a police riot that had been started after banning an organizational committee from Texas Southern University, an undercover officer was shot.  Out of the 489 students that were attested, all but 5 students were released the next day.  Those five black college students were accused of killing a policeman. Set in a time of racism and segregation, two families struggle with the events of the riot. With the support of these understanding neighbours, a white family took a risk in trying to win back the freedom of the accused students.

The artwork by Nate Powell has created powerful imagery that allows readers to place themselves within the setting and events of that period in history. The combination of historical story elements and graphic images may hook reluctant readers.  The graphic nature of the story is engaging and will educate students of a period in history often presented in more traditional formats.

Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Pamela Wenger

Pamela Wenger is a 4th year teacher-librarian working between two schools in Regina.  She is planning to complete a Masters of Education in Teacher-Librarianship in April 2013.