My Own Revolution

( 1 )

Overview

In 1960s Czechoslovakia, Patrik participates in and rebels against the communist regime, knowing that anyone could become an enemy in the blink of an eye.

Fourteen-year-old Patrik rebels against the communist regime in small ways whenever he gets the chance: spray-painting slogans, listening to contraband Beatles records, even urinating on a statue of Lenin under cover of night. But anti-Party sentiment is risky, and when party interference cuts a little too close to home, ...

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My Own Revolution

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Overview

In 1960s Czechoslovakia, Patrik participates in and rebels against the communist regime, knowing that anyone could become an enemy in the blink of an eye.

Fourteen-year-old Patrik rebels against the communist regime in small ways whenever he gets the chance: spray-painting slogans, listening to contraband Beatles records, even urinating on a statue of Lenin under cover of night. But anti-Party sentiment is risky, and when party interference cuts a little too close to home, Patrik and his family find themselves faced with a decision — and a grave secret — that will change everything. As the moments tick toward too late, Patrik takes his family’s fate in hand, risking everything for a chance at freedom. Examining the psychological toll of living under an authoritarian regime, Carolyn Marsden allows readers to experience both Patrik’s persistent worry and his hope for better things.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In contemporary and historical novels like The White Zone, Starfields, and Take Me with You, Marsden has offered intimate glimpses of cultures around the world as seen through the eyes of children. Her first book for teens is no different, detailing the tumultuous life of 13-year-old Patrik, who lives under the repressive Communist regime in 1960s Czechoslovakia. Patrik and his friends rebel against authority in small (but still dangerous) ways— defacing Communist slogans, buying black market Beatles records, and urinating on a statue of Lenin—but after Patrik recklessly burns a flag at the May Day parade, his entire family is put at risk. Marsden palpably depicts the paranoia of the time and the stress Patrik’s family is under; there’s an unremitting tension to the second half of the story as they make plans to flee the country. It’s an entirely believable portrait of a boy whose daily life is divided between normal teenage concerns—like winning the girl of his dreams and improving his photography skills—and worries about his very uncertain future. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Inspired by a true story, this easily accessible novel should appeal to teens who, like Patrik, are keen observers of the chaos that surrounds them.
—Kirkus

The overall story is excellent, conveying feelings of dread, suspicion, despair, and frustration experienced by citizens in Communist Eastern Europe. The relationships among Patrik and his friends and family are realistic and genuine. This novel will open some eyes about how difficult and unfair life was in the Eastern Bloc.
—School Library Journal

School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Patrik Chrobak, 14, and his upper-middle-class family do not toe the (Communist) Party line in 1960s Czechoslovakia. Increasingly frustrated by the Party's oppressive tactics and methods, Patrik's father and mother talk more of fleeing their homeland. Patrik, unable to stomach watching friends and teachers vanish for "disloyalty," begins committing subversive pranks with like-minded, longtime friends. One of them is 14-year-old Danika, his upstairs neighbor. Patrik realizes that he wants to be more than just friends, which bewilders Danika. Instead, she falls for the new boy in town, a loyal Party member. This angers Patrik, who commits a brazen protest against the government. Caught and ordered to relocate as punishment, he and his family decide to escape. With many unknowns ahead, knowing only that the immediate future is unbearable, the family flees. The description of their escape to Italy is confusing. Some of it is written as flashback, some as a bizarre dream sequence, and some as realistic events. The overall story is excellent, conveying feelings of dread, suspicion, despair, and frustration experienced by citizens in Communist Eastern Europe. The relationships among Patrik and his friends and family are realistic and genuine. This novel will open some eyes about how difficult and unfair life was in the Eastern Bloc.—Lisa Crandall, Capital Area District Library, Holt, MI
Kirkus Reviews
A vivid portrait of life under the Communist rule of 1960s Czechoslovakia. Getting their hands on a bootleg copy of a Beatles single is just one of the small acts of rebellion that Patrik and his friends engage in. They face real reprisal if they're caught painting over the two last letters of a sign that says "Long Live the USSR!" and urinating on a statue of Lenin. At 13, Patrik's feelings for Danika, who lives upstairs, are starting to change, and he wants to be more than friends. Meanwhile, Danika seems more interested in the new boy at school, a party loyalist from Bratislava. Marsden captures the tension of Patrik's adolescent longings with evocative descriptions of the effect that both Danika and the illicit music have on him: "Each tiny glance sets my body humming. The songs themselves set me humming. They get inside me and tear apart all I ever was. They break me free." Patrik and his family live in fear that his father, a psychiatrist who's pressured to declare people "unfit," will himself be arrested before they have a chance to escape to America. The strain of trying to tell which of their neighbors is trustworthy wears on them. Patrik, living on the edge between childhood and adulthood, dares to make a difference. Inspired by a true story, this easily accessible novel should appeal to teens who, like Patrik, are keen observors of the chaos that surrounds them. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763653958
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,400,291
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL610L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Marsden is the acclaimed author of The Gold-Threaded Dress and its sequel, The Quail Club, as well as Silk Umbrellas, Moon Runner, When Heaven Fell, The Buddha’s Diamonds (with Thâ'y Pháp Niêm), The Jade Dragon (with Virginia Shin-Mui Loh), Sahwira (with Philip Matzigkeit), Take Me with You, and Starfields.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2013

    No reviews???

    How am i supposed to know if this book is any good if there are no reviews???? Help me!!!

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