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.
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.
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