Lindi's Reviews > The Loud Silence of Francine Green

The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman
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's review
Aug 09, 09

liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, preteen-girls, indy-girl
Read in February, 2007

I have mixed feelings about this book. I usually love Karen Cushman, but felt the research was sloppy in this one. Would a K-8 Catholic school for girls in 1949 have a copy of A Tree Grow in Brooklyn in its library, and would it be considered a safe alternative for book reports? Would a Catholic high school put on a production of Oklahoma? Sure, those are classics today, but that just doesn't ring true for 1949-50 school year. Also, I don't know what to think about the ending. Sure, it packs a wallop, but at the expense of resolution. And while I guess that's appropriate in a book where all the sensible adults express confusion and doubt about modern life, the fact is that Sister Basil is a bully. It can't end well. That said, Francine and Sophie are great characters; I like that the adults Francine goes to with questions either give her more uncertainty or they give her platitudes, even the ones you are set up to expect understanding from. I guess what I'm saying is that I'm not sure it's a book for kids, yet will teens pick it up? The characters are too young.
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Meaghan You make good points about the library book and the musical. I hadn't considered that.

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