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The Disappeared

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  247 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
A riveting tale about love and sacrifice by a National Book Award winner. The Disappeared. Los desaparecidos. This is the name given to those who opposed Argentina?s dictatorial government and were kidnapped to ensure their silence. With her hometown of Buenos Aires ensconsced in the political nightmare, Silvia devises a plan to save her missing brother. She?ll make ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published June 12th 2008 by Dial
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Community Reviews

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Oct 26, 2008 Jack rated it liked it
Shelves: teen
A real mixed bag. On the one hand, this story sheds light on the terrifying subject of political violence through imprisonment and torture. It takes place in Argentina in the 1970's as Silvia's brother Eduardo becomes one of los Deseparecidos after protesting against the repressive military dictatorship. The book brings discusses the importance of political speech and the right to protest. It's also a moving story of the bond between siblings, as it is told through unwritten letters between Silv ...more
this story is about the bond between siblings, political violence and war in Argentina and life in prison. I like the books by this author!
Apr 16, 2011 Bronwyn rated it really liked it
Things I liked about this book:

- The portrayal of Buenos Aires. Whelan obviously either spent an extended amount of time (like I said) in BA or again, carefully researched the unique culture of that city. Unlike other books set in Argentina I've read, I felt I was actually in Buenos Aires and that this story couldn't have taken place anywhere but Buenos Aires and Argentina (whereas in other books, I could easily imagine the story taking place in another Latin American country and that for some r
This book, told as letters from two siblings to each other, takes the reader deep into the Argentina suffering under the rule of General Videla.

Gloria Whelan manages to tell the deeply moving story of Eduardo disappearing, and Silvia going down a dangerous path to find him, in very simple words, without complications and unnecessary pathos. There is anger, and violence, and people are hurt, but there is also humanity and hope.

This book is short, but make no mistake, for it will capture you fro
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
3.5 stars.

This book is really more of a novella, not even hitting the 150 page mark. It's set in Argentina during the 1970s and is told in the form of letters between a brother and sister following his abduction by the secret police. Silvia devises a plan to save her brother by attracting the attention of Noberto, son of a powerful general. Meanwhile, her brother Eduardo, is telling us his side of the story from prison - the events that brought him to the attention of the military in the first
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This novel, told in alternating chapters from the points of view of a brother and sister, takes place in Argentina in 1977 during the time of the Disappeared, when the military, who were in control of the government, were kidnapping, torturing, and killing anyone whom they suspected opposed them. Eduardo is taken by the military, so his sister Silvia sets out to try to get him released. She is a naive character, and makes some bad though well-meaning decisions. The story was very suspenseful, as ...more
Clare Cannon
Jan 18, 2012 Clare Cannon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 13-15yrs, young-adult
This is a powerful short story told with eloquent simplicity. Its subject matter is serious: the political persecution and violation of human rights by Argentina's government in the 1970s, focusing on the student protestors who 'disappeared', taken as prisoners in a kind of witch-hunt for those who were thought to oppose the government.

While showing that the student protesters fought for a just cause, Whelan helps the reader to think deeply about whether some forms of rash rebellion could be hal
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Meh. I love Gloria Whelan, but this one just didn't do much of anything for me. I felt dragged into the story too early with a pretty obvious expose of the time and setting, which was a little abrupt, okay, way too abrupt. This made it feel too "un-subtle?" While the gender roles are played with a little bit as Silvia steps up and tries to act to free her brother, action is still seen as typical for boys- Eduardo and the dad- but requires the removal and threat to one of the female's kin to ...more
its me v
Oct 03, 2016 its me v rated it really liked it
i really liked this book it has a true value of the love between the two siblings Eduardo and Silvia.
this book also has a lot of suspense in it which is really exciting . it starts off really sad because the brother Eduardo gets taken by the military police when he tries to take the matters of his father into his own hands which obviously gets him in trouble and as i said he gets taken. when he gets taken his mother and father and sister Silvia are left there to ponder his where about's . Eduard

So the other day I was looking for a book on one of my rare trips to the Teen section in the library looking for a book and I spotted this one out of the corner of my eye because the cover is BEAUTIFUL! I think it's stunning so without even glancing at what it was about I added it to my stack of books that I'd be borrowing.

It wasn't until I came home that I read the inside cover to see what it was about that I realized I could use it in my Around the World Challenge. This book took me back in t
Silvia an Argentinean girl, who wanted to have her brother back from General Lopez. If Silvia tried to free her brother from jail, by making him escape or anything that could make her interfere with the government will cause her to go to the government. To free Eduardo without harming anyone, Silvia became friends with the generals son. She thought that if Norberto fell in love with Silvia that he would ask his father to free Eduardo. When Silvia asked Norberto to free her brother he got
Oct 26, 2010 Tyler rated it it was amazing
The novel The Disappeared by Gloria Whelan was a very good historical fiction book. It is during the time of the Dirty War which took place in Argentina from 1976-1983. The storyline is a little of a stretch, but it worked well. This book is about a college student who goes against the dictatorship in Argentina and is then taken away by the military. His younger sister then works to try and free him from the prison he is being held in. I think Whelan wrote this book to remind and inform people o ...more
Feb 28, 2009 Raiven added it
I love this boook I absolutly love it I couldn't put it down and coming from me that means alot because I usually hate books i hate to read unless I choose it and the cover seems interesting I will read it but this book is;sad,interesting,draws the reader in,drama, like a survival of the fittest but it's more like a family survival thing and it's like everyone in Argentina is a family just dealing with the same issues and problems and just everyone wanting to get out of it and be happy and to ...more
Sep 06, 2011 Shawna rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I was not familiar with the hardships of military rule in Argentina during 1977. I really enjoyed the epilogue, so I could get a better historical perspective. I really enjoy historical fiction like this book, because not only do I enjoy the story, but I feel like I have learned about some of Argentina’s history. When I read historical fiction I expect a story loosely based on historical facts, not a full documentary. Like myself, I hope students read this book enjoying the story like any other ...more
Jul 15, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
This book was purchased on a whim one day at my local Five Below for less than $2 (I had no idea they sold books!). It's a book I would've gladly payed suggested retail price for and has become a favorite of mine.

Told from the points of view of siblings Silvia and Eduardo, The Disappeared paints a terrifying portrait of life in 1970s Argentina. Ruled by power hungry dictators, citizens were taught to fear their government. One misspoken word and you or a loved one would be taken away, tortured a
Georgia Herod
Dec 27, 2014 Georgia Herod rated it really liked it
Powerful story told in the voices of Silvia and Eduardo (teenagers) in the form of letters, set in Argentina in the 1970’s during civil unrest and military and political uprisings, one after another. Those who spoke against the government were often arrested and often became “The Disappeared,” never to be heard of again. Silvia and Eduardo barely escape.

Whelan incorporates Spanish phrases, creates a powerful setting, and develops believable characters—we see youthful idealism, fear, lonelines
Int'l librarian
The truth can be indescribably strange; even so it seems impossible that this story could unfold the way Whelan has imagined it. I can accept that Argentina’s history of state-sponsored terrorism and torture must be every bit as horrific as Whelan describes, and more. And the risks that Eduardo and his sister Silvia face in opposing the military junta seem real enough. But as the plot tension builds, the ties to historical reality snap away.

I don’t especially like the back-and-forth heart-to-he
Kali Dylan
Aug 08, 2014 Kali Dylan rated it really liked it
Told as a story in letters between a brother and sister living in buenos aires in the 1970's The Disappeared tells the tragic and somewhat scary tale of the dirty war in Argentina. With alternating chapters of perspectives between Silvia and brother Eduardo, this book really captures the details and both sides of what it must have felt like to have gone through the time of "Los Desaparecidos" (the disappeared). For me, not being a huge fan of historical fiction, I found myself very interested ...more
Julia Smith
Feb 01, 2011 Julia Smith rated it it was amazing
I thought that this book was pretty good. It was very interesting to learn about the history of Argentina and the disappeared children. The book was well written and easy to understand. I couldn't put the book down which was okay because it was a fairly short book and I read it all at once. The book was written as unwritten letters between the siblings Eduardo and Silvia. This was a unique way to tell a story, but the author really made it work well. Overall I think this was a very good book. It ...more
Manjinder Kaur
This book is about two siblings. I liked this book because it shows how the siblings care for eachother. Silvia and Eduardo are the main characters. Silvia tells her brother to make the right choices. It tells how if one of the family member makes a mistake then how it effects the entire family. Silvia tells how the military people took her brother away. They live in Argentina. Their father is a doctor in the hospital. Eduardo wanted to protest. I liked how they explained the story in this book. ...more
Jul 26, 2008 Rachael rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Adult and up
Quick, suspenseful read about a brother and sister in 1970's Argentina. Not knowing anything about Argentine history, I did learn a little about it, but really wished I knew more as I was reading. As always, Whelan is a great writer with compassion for her characters.

I'm not sure what the reading level for this book is, but it deals with protesting, imprisonment, and a sleazy young man that Silvia hopes will help her to free her brother. For that reason, I wouldn't really recommend it to Whelan'
Sep 12, 2008 Melissa rated it it was amazing
After Silvia's brother, Eduardo, becomes one of the 'Disappeared', Silva forms a plan to try to save him. Silva's scheme involves the powerful son of a general, but Norberto is no fool and soon her 'clever' plan soon backfires and takes a turn for the worst...
The story's narration goes back and forth between siblings as they witness the terrible 'desaparecidos' of Buenos Aires.
The Disappeard is a story that will change the way you look at communism and dictatorship. It is also a frightful disco
Dec 22, 2010 Laura rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 26, 2016 Brittney rated it really liked it
I thought that It was an okay book. I didn't really know what to expect as I started reading it. It turned out good though. I didn't really have time to enjoy it, because I was just trying to finish it. I liked how they had different perspectives, and the way you kinda felt involved in it. Kind of like when you yell at the TV and desperately tell them not to do something, but since they can’t hear you, they do it anyways. I felt like I was doing that at times. But overall, it wasn't bad, but it ...more
I think if I was a teacher at about a 5th grade level this would be a good introductory text to use to talk about human rights and Latin America. It's a very simplistic tale, told from the POVs of two siblings who write letters to each other while one is imprisoned under a military junta. It definitely takes a lot of whitewashing approaches to the torture that we know went on, and is wrapped up in a neat little happy ending. Which is of course, a rare occurrence in these situations.

Definitely a
Grr... one stray click and my review gets eaten by GoodReads. One more try...
Basically, this is a good time to read this book. Argentina is again (still?) experiencing civil unrest. This book brings up some of the history of La Guerra Sucia/The Dirty War of the 70's. Unfortunately, it felt the author was playing it safe so this book could be considered YA. I am sure the author researched and heard many stories of the torture, violence, and oppression experienced during La Guerra Sucia. I find it
Sep 14, 2008 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a historical novel about Argentina in the 1970's. It is about the disappearances of civilians that opposed the government in any way. The story is told from the viewpoint of a sister and brother who are trying to survive through this period.

I was not very familiar with the history of Argentina, but this gave me a small glimpse into a small time. I really enjoyed it. I very much enjoyed the style of writing.
Jul 28, 2012 Celia rated it really liked it
The author, Gloria Whelan, is a National Book Award winner, and does a terrific job of presenting this story of the Desaparecidos of Argentina during the 1970's. This story is told from two viewpoints, the voice of Silvia, a teenage girl of some privilege, and that of her older brother, Eduardo. It is scary and enlightening, and a great way to learn of this tragic era in Argentina's history. Perfect for middle school students.
Nov 30, 2010 Morgan rated it liked it
The Disappeared takes place during the Dirty War in the 1970s when the authoritarian and militarized Argentine government kidnapped, tortured, and murdered nearly thirteen thousand people who would come to be known as “los desaparecidos” (the disappeared). The book alternates between the perspectives of brother and sister, Eduardo and Silvia, after Eduardo is kidnapped and imprisoned for subversive activities. Intended for age 13 and older.
Feb 20, 2010 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I am so profoundly disturbed by this book the the horror that occurred in Chile for years and years. I briefly dated Pinochet's grandson, and only when he revealed himself, did I learn the history of Chile - much of it from my Latino friends. I still wonder how he could tell me his grandfather was just misunderstood. Needless to say, I stopped taking his phone calls.

I love Gloria Whelan's writing - such strong voice and tone - it will stay with me for days.
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Gloria Whelan is the best-selling author of many novels for young readers, including Homeless Bird, winner of the National Book Award; Friutlands: Louisa May Alcott Made Perfect; Angel on the Square and its companion, The Impossible Journey; Once on this Island, winner of the Great Lakes Book Award; Farewell to the Island; and Return to the Island. She lives with her husband, Joseph, in the woods ...more
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