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I Must Betray You



by
Ruta Sepetys

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Penguin Random House
Imprint
Philomel
ISBN
9781984836038
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: Torture , Violence: Gun Violence , Language: Infrequent Use , Language: Moderate Language
$21.42   $17.85
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QTY
Out of stock

JLG Category

History High

A gut-wrenching, startling window into communist Romania and the citizen spy network that devastated a nation, from the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray.

Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.

Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae CeauÛescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.

Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?

Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys is back with a historical thriller that examines the little-known history of a nation defined by silence, pain, and the unwavering conviction of the human spirit.

Map. Author’s note. “Research and Sources. Sources. Black-and-white photographs.

 

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: Torture , Violence: Gun Violence , Language: Infrequent Use , Language: Moderate Language

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

336

Trim Size

9" x 6"

Dewey

F

AR

4.3: points 8

Genre

Fic

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

May 2022

Book Genres

Historical Fiction

Topics

Spies. Family life. Dictatorship. Revolutions. Romanian Revolution, 1989. Twentieth-century history of Bucharest, Romania. Europe. 

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

"Sepetys is a formidable writer, and her stories declare the need to write about global issues of social injustice. For that reason and her attention to detail, this is a must-read."

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Sepetys's latest book maintains the caliber readers have come to expect from an author whose focus on hidden histories has made her a YA powerhouse of historical fiction. Cristian is a 17-year-old living in Romania in 1989 with his family in the sterile concrete block housing that Ceausescu's communist state allows, with little to eat and no liberties. When Cristian reluctantly agrees to become an informer to protect his grandfather, nothing is sacred: not his budding relationship with Liliana, not his friendship with Luca, and not his musings about Romania in a notebook that will be a tool to fight back, if he makes that choice. Romania blossoms under Sepetys's attention to detail which comes from personal interviews, archival research, and traveling. These complexities are then infused into the setting and cast of characters whose surveillance means betrayal lurks everywhere, evidenced by the secret reports resourcefully sprinkled into the narrative. Mysterious as it is thrilling, the book's short chapters create an atmosphere of impending danger leading to a historical event in Eastern Europe that may be unknown to many yet is necessary to be told. The impending revolution pressurizes Cristian's next move, reminiscent of Matt Killeen's Orphan Monster Spy that blurs the line of good and evil. VERDICT Sepetys is a formidable writer, and her stories declare the need to write about global issues of social injustice. For that reason and her attention to detail, this is a must-read.—Alicia Abdul

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

"Sepetys is a formidable writer, and her stories declare the need to write about global issues of social injustice. For that reason and her attention to detail, this is a must-read."

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Sepetys's latest book maintains the caliber readers have come to expect from an author whose focus on hidden histories has made her a YA powerhouse of historical fiction. Cristian is a 17-year-old living in Romania in 1989 with his family in the sterile concrete block housing that Ceausescu's communist state allows, with little to eat and no liberties. When Cristian reluctantly agrees to become an informer to protect his grandfather, nothing is sacred: not his budding relationship with Liliana, not his friendship with Luca, and not his musings about Romania in a notebook that will be a tool to fight back, if he makes that choice. Romania blossoms under Sepetys's attention to detail which comes from personal interviews, archival research, and traveling. These complexities are then infused into the setting and cast of characters whose surveillance means betrayal lurks everywhere, evidenced by the secret reports resourcefully sprinkled into the narrative. Mysterious as it is thrilling, the book's short chapters create an atmosphere of impending danger leading to a historical event in Eastern Europe that may be unknown to many yet is necessary to be told. The impending revolution pressurizes Cristian's next move, reminiscent of Matt Killeen's Orphan Monster Spy that blurs the line of good and evil. VERDICT Sepetys is a formidable writer, and her stories declare the need to write about global issues of social injustice. For that reason and her attention to detail, this is a must-read.—Alicia Abdul

Grades 10 & Up
History High
For Grades 10 & Up

The past opens with a turn of the page in these fully-documented histories and compelling works of historical fiction. Experience the past frequently with the 12 books in this category.

12 books per Year
$259.20 per Year
Interests
Diversity,Fiction,Mature Readers,Nonfiction,Biographies,Realistic Fiction,History
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