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The Disappeared
     

The Disappeared

3.6 3
by Gloria Whelan
 

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Silvia's brother, Eduardo, has Disappeared, and she won't stop fighting until she finds him. Norberto, the general's son, is just foolish enough to help. He'll fall in love with her, and then he'll ask his father to set Eduardo free. At least that's the premise on which Silvia bases her scheme. In chapters alternating between Silvia's and Eduardo's perspectives,

Overview

Silvia's brother, Eduardo, has Disappeared, and she won't stop fighting until she finds him. Norberto, the general's son, is just foolish enough to help. He'll fall in love with her, and then he'll ask his father to set Eduardo free. At least that's the premise on which Silvia bases her scheme. In chapters alternating between Silvia's and Eduardo's perspectives, acclaimed author Gloria Whelan gives voice to the families who struggled to survive in 1970s Argentina - and to the many who still, today, remain Disappeared.

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Laura Woodruff
Beginning in 1977 Buenos Aires, this novel in diary form relates the rebellion and persecution of teenaged sister and brother Silvia and Eduardo Diaz. Struggling against the brutal military dictatorship that runs their country, Eduardo and his university friends are taken from their homes and thrown into prison, where they are starved and tortured in an effort to extract from them the names of other "traitors." Silvia, in a futile attempt to find her brother and save his life, pretends to care for evil Noberto Lopez, son of the general responsible for the capture. Unknown to her, as she risks her safety and reputation, her physician father has bargained for Eduardo's freedom in exchange for the general's secret but desperately needed surgery. A surprise ending saves the Diaz family but not Argentina, whose fate is outlined in an epilogue. This short book with simple vocabulary is easily read in a single sitting. Heavy on suffering, the plot moves forward disjointedly as the narrators are separated physically, mentally, and emotionally from each other. Although not the equal of Homeless Bird (HarperCollins, 2000/VOYA February 2001), this novel is another in the long list of Whelan titles that are quite acceptable on anyone's reading list. Reviewer: Laura Woodruff
Melissa Moore
The military regime of 1970s Argentina comes eerily alive in this new novel by Gloria Whelan (Homeless Bird). Eduardo Diaz is arrested for his peaceful demonstrations against the generals' abuse of power, and his younger sister Silvia will stop at nothing to set him free. The presentation as a series of undelivered letters between siblings quickly immerses the reader in the emotional tension and heartbreak of the "Dirty War." Like ever-widening ripples in a pond, the reader sees the agony of mothers missing their children and the indiscriminate, callous torturing of people from all walks of life. Eduardo and Silvia beautifully portray both the arrogance of youth and its potential for good in a world gone crazy. Reviewer: Melissa Moore
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10- A story set in Buenos Aires in the late 1970s. Despite its peaceful facade, Argentina is rife with guerrilla warfare and run by malevolent generals. Told in alternating chapters by two teenage siblings, the novel relates how one young person decides to stand up for his political beliefs and ideals and ignores his parent's cautions. Eduardo, in his first year of university, is impatient and intolerant of his father's inaction to protest against the vengeful General Lopez. Silvia, his beautiful younger sister, dances from night to dawn. Her brother's outspoken protests seem little more than another family quarrel. As a visible political activist, Eduardo ends up a target. Only when imprisoned, suffering cruel and calculating psychological torture, does he learn the dangers of what it means to be one of Los Desparecidos . Silvia, awakened to the reality of the situation, does everything in her power to free him. Strategically, she sets herself up as bait for the son of General Lopez, believing that she can win him over and secure her brother's release. The deftly handled voices of Silvia and Eduardo follow the well-intentioned, but often grievous, mistakes of youth. Their compelling tale is a chilling account of the manipulative power of corruption.-Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY

Kirkus Reviews
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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781440636844
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
06/12/2008
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
1,082,514
File size:
190 KB
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Gloria Whelan lives in northern Michigan.

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The Disappeared 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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