Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Loud Silence of Francine Green” as Want to Read:
The Loud Silence of Francine Green
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Loud Silence of Francine Green

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  790 Ratings  ·  141 Reviews
Francine lives down the street from a Hollywood film studio, adores screen dreamboat Montgomery Clift, and sometimes sees her home life as a scene from a movie: Dinner at the Greens. She wishes she were a movie star, brave and glamorous and always ready to say the right thing. In reality, she’s a “pink and freckled” thirteen-year-old, and she doesn’t speak up because she’ ...more
Published August 22nd 2006 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Loud Silence of Francine Green, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Loud Silence of Francine Green

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
I read this book to see if it would be a good selection for our mother-daughter book club for my tween daughter. When she first tackled it, she didn't know enough about the Red Scare period in history to make sense of what was going on. She tripped up on the cultural references that I lapped up. Montgomery Clift is dreamy, for example.

Then we went to the MOHAI museum and there just happened to be an interactive game about the Washington state's own version of the Committee on Un-American Activit
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 w ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
Per me è strano dare "appena" tre stelle a un libro di Karen Cushman, ma sia il tema che, sopratutto, i personaggi mi hanno lasciata abbastanza fredda.
Per quanto l'autrice sia brava nel rendere l'atmosfera di ansiosa paura e di caccia alle streghe dell'America maccartista, e l'opprimente ambiente delle scuole cattoliche del tempo, non ho sentito vera emozione per nessuno dei personaggi.
Francine, in particolare, mi ha lasciato indifferente, seppur abbia apprezzato il suo tardivo riconoscere gli a
Int'l librarian
This book provides a good look at how confused, paranoid and misleading the US government and education system was, concerning the threat of communism and nuclear war in the 1950s. Communism: bad to the point of being satanic. Nuclear weapons: good if we have them; bad if the commies have them; easy to protect yourself as long as there’s a bomb shelter, ditch, or school desk nearby. It would be funny if it wasn’t so honest and sad.

Francine is a very believable and confused young girl. I like ho
Jun 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original review at The Little Bookworm

Francine lives in America in 1949/1950 at the beginning of the Cold Ward when everyone was fearful of Communists and bombs and Senator McCarthy was beginning his inquiries. She is a quiet girl who wants nothing more than to stay out of trouble. She cannot even write a big part for herself in the screenplay in her head. But when Francine meets the irrepressible Sophie, things begin to change for Francine and she begins to think outside of her own neighborhood
Karen Cushman’s new historical fiction book is modern compared to her other novels. The Loud Silence of Francine Green takes place in 1950’s Los Angeles during the height of the Red Scare and McCarthyism. Thirteen year old Francine attends All Saints School for Girls, and is constantly being told, by her parents, her teachers, and her confessor, to keep quiet and do as she is told. On the other hand, her new best friend, Sophie, encourages her, by example, to speak out against what is wrong and ...more
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans
Recommended to Lena by: Anna
My sister has been trying to get me to read this book for ages. I don't know why I didn't read it sooner, but I'm glad I eventually did! It was a great, touching book for young adults. It's probably most appealing to the 10-12 year old crowd, but had enough interesting points to keep me reading even though usually I find those books a little below my interest level. This one really caught my emotions and held on. I loved reading about the 'red scare' and the Catholic school environment that Fran ...more
Mar 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This YA novel covers a time period most teens probably don't know much about-the blacklisting of actors thought to be members of the communist party. Francine, with the help of her friend Sophie, slowly begins to realize the unfairness of this. She gradually gains enough confidence to speak up about it. An interesting part of history seen through the eyes of a teen, but also a good example of a teen fighting for what he/she thinks is right.
I greatly enjoyed reading this story of Francine, a timid 8th grader in about 1951 in southern California, whose life is interrupted and challenged by the arrival of the brash, fearless, and intellectually curious Sophie Bowman. The two girls struggle in their own ways to make sense of the threat of Communism, the fear of McCarthyism, and the messy world of middle school.
When Sophie begins to attend Francine's school, All Saints Catholic School for Girls (which is given many funny nicknames thro
Suyash Westbrook
The book started off slow but picked up the pace later and finished with a ban! The Loud Silence of Francine green is a very good book about equality. Set in the late 1940's and early 1950's, WWII has just finished and now it is the beginning of the Cold War. Everyone is afraid of the communists and bombs being dropped on them anytime. Francine herself has to overcome her own problems and through adversity, she learns what is truly important in life.
Katie Fitzgerald
Right before I read The Loud Silence of Francine Green, my boyfriend shared with me a selection from Francis Spufford's The Child That Books Built: A Life in Reading, which stuck with me as I read and critiqued this book.

Spufford, in describing his early experiences with books written for adults, writes:

And I was equally puzzled by the strange silence of the authors about their characters. Oh, they described them all right - but who was good? Who was bad? What was I supposed to think about them?
My favorite quote from the book: "Unlike most Catholic girls, I'd never wanted to be a nun. I thought about being a saint sometimes---it seemed the highest calling to which a Catholic girl could aspire, since Mother of God was already taken---but never a nun."

I would recommend this book to a high school teacher trying to find a way to supplement curriculum about the 1950s and the red scare. A kid reading it would have to be really interested in contemporary history to want to pick up this book b
Dec 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Loud Silence of Francine Green”
I found this book really interesting. My favorite quote of the book was, “I just want to live my life without any problems, without getting into any trouble". This is true, Francine doesn't speak up much. Her parents aren't interested in her opinions, this makes Francine be quieter and not really have any opinions and never speak her mind. The nuns at school punish girls who ask too many questions, so the idea of ever speaking out in school frightens Francine.
Apr 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not much.
Recommended to Waffle...♥ by: Ruth... though she just like the cover so she had me read it.
Fairly interesting and educational but plain boring. I was okay with it for a while the ending just plain BORED me. It was simply pathetic. Sweet, she found her courage... to tell her teacher that she THREW THE WASTEBASKET INTO THE FIRE? On purpose? And what kind of standing up will that do? What pure good would it do besides making a teacher mad and punish you severely?

This book takes place During the end of 1949 and the 1950's. The years of the 'Cold War'. It is after the pathetic and painful
ACS Librarian
This book provides a good look at how confused, paranoid and misleading the US government and education system was, concerning the threat of communism and nuclear war in the 1950s. Communism: bad to the point of being satanic. Nuclear weapons: good if we have them; bad if the commies have them; easy to protect yourself as long as there 19s a bomb shelter, ditch, or school desk nearby. It would be funny if it wasn 19t so honest and sad.

Francine is a very believable and confused young girl. I lik
Sylvia McIvers
Jeepers Creepers, this book was groovy!

Francine goes to Catholic school, and the nun in charge is mean. Her neighbor Sophie was kicked out of assorted public schools, and is now going to Catholic school as a last resort. Sophie is loud and outspoken about The Bomb, about Free Speech, about God, and wants to know if nuns wear black underwear.

The world is changing. Even Francine's dad thinks the world is a tougher place than when he was a kid, so what is an eight grader supposed to do? Keep quiet
Shelley Daugherty
Francine is constantly trying to do the 'right' thing so when she makes friends with Sophie, her world is turned completely upside down. Sophie is passionate about the things she believes in and wants her questions about life answered, which doesn't go over well at All Saints School for Girls. Francine is torn between her loyalty as a best friend and the life she was taught by her father which included the advice "don't get involved". When fear begins to run high about possible atomic bombs, Sop ...more
Theophilus (Theo)
It was ok. I don't venture into young adult literature often, but this was definitely worth a detour from my usual historical fiction and African Americans in American history diet. The story takes place in early 1950s Hollywood. Far enough from my midwestern childhood to be intriguing and somehow familiar. The main character Francine Green is in middle school during her transition years from child to young woman. She meets and becomes best friends with a girl who was just kicked out of her las ...more
Karen Cushman is a favorite YA author of the Neewbery Medal book "The Midwife's Apprentice, and the Newbery Honor book "Catherine, Called Birdy" all set in medieval England. In this novel, Francine Green is a thoroughly American thirteen year old living in Los Angeles in 1949-50. The history and recollections of that period of time in the U.S. is so interesting and so horrifying.....the Communists and McCarthyism, the blacklist, the atom bomb and injustice. Adding to Francine's personal problems ...more
One of the reasons I like this book, is because I feel like I have a lot in common with the main character, Francine. Francine is quiet, timid, shy, obedient, and is always trying to avoid conflict or trouble of any kind. she has a pretty and popular older sister, but feels that she is hopeless. All of these things also describe me at the age of 13.

Another reason I like this book is the setting. I love to learn about the 1950's, I love the music, fashions, slang, cars, jukeboxes, drive-in movie
Aug 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books I don't seek out but I'm glad I stumbled on. The book is set in California in 1949- 1950. Francine attends a strict Catholic school and tries to never cause any trouble. She makes friends with a girl down the street that gets in trouble for her outspoken, and impulsive nature. The friend's father is a Hollywood writer with liberal political leanings.
I liked the look into Francine's family and life at the school. As her friend speaks her mind and questions things, Fran
Maureen Milton
When a recorded book has as irritating a narrator as this one, I don't usually continue to listen, but my 11- year-old was enjoying it, so I gritted my teeth. Alas, while Cushman is renowned for her historical fiction, this more modern title (set in the 1950s in LA) fell flat for this listener in characterization, plot, & historic detail. I agree with a previous reviewer that it is unlikely that in an all-girls' Catholic school, an 8th grader would have been encouraged to read "A Tree Grows ...more
Mary Drew
I love Karen Cushman - I need to add other books of hers that I read to my Goodreads shelves.

Karen writes historical fiction for younger teens, but good enough for older readers. This particular gem takes place in California in 1949/50 and does a good job of recalling the era after WWII and before the Korean War when we first became caught up in the arms race. Cushman uses her 8th grade character, Francine Green, to highlight the confusing and hypocritical rhetoric that characterized that era. H
Surprisingly enjoyed this book. Had to read it for a grad class. Loved the voice and style. My favorite chapter is the one towards the beginning about paper dolls. :)

Francine is a young teenage girl growing up during the 1950's. She is obsessed with movie stars and likes to read. She meets the outgoing and outrageous Sophie and experiences her first best friend. She attends an all-girl Catholic school in Los Angeles where she keeps quiet and stays out of trouble with the evil Sister Basil. Howev
Apr 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am always uncertain on how to rate a book. I liked this book very much, but I'm not sure how Junior High students will like it. I identified with the quiet girl who tried to fly under the radar and never get into trouble (and the conflict this caused in standing up with courage for things she belived to be right). The setting is the late 1940's and early 1950's during the Cold War and was a little before my time. Still I remember the duck and cover drills we had at school in case we were attac ...more
Francine has always been the type of girl to do as she's told and not question authority. It seems to be the best way to survive in a strict Catholic School. It all begins to change, though, when she befriends the new outspoken and rebellious girl, Sophie Bowman, in the year of 1949-1950. Sophie continually questions what she is begin told to do, insisting that it is her duty to stand up to her right to free speech. Most people, especially their teacher, Sister Basil the Great, do not appreciate ...more
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the social studies teachers recommended that I read this one. Karen Cushman is a good author so I decided to give it a try.

I really liked the discussion guide at the back of the book because this book raises so many historical and current issues: friendship, getting along, being popular, the McCarthy era, blacklisting, etc.

I also liked watching Francine grow. She really comes into her own by the end of the book and I think part of the reason she comes into her own because she listens and
Kim Mack
I found myself not very impressed with this one. I found the main character development slow at the start and rushed at the end. I also felt like there were some points which were not believable for me, or didn't match. For example, a 13 year old so fascinated with Hollywood, actors, movies, and constantly reading star magazines to not have a clue about McCarthy's hunt for communists seemed quite odd. Another example is that this girl has been myopic for most of the book and suddenly wants to ta ...more
Stephanie Jobe
It is 1949 but at first the Cold War doesn’t mean that much to an eighth grade girl in Catholic school in Hollywood. Francine’s number one goal is to stay out of trouble until Sophie becomes her best friend and she learns that sometimes trouble can have purpose. The Hollywood blacklisting during the Red Scare has always intrigued me. This book nearly lost me until we finally got to the real McCarthy era stuff. At first I thought one more gee, jeepers or ye gods and I would soon go homicidal. How ...more
I really like Karen Cushman's style. One of my favorite authors of children's historical fiction. This one is quite different from her medieval stories, and I wasn't sure I'd like it after the first chapter or so, but it grew on me. About a girl living through the MacCarthy era, and how she learns to think for herself and stand up for what she thinks, and befriend others who are different. The non-conformity message sometimes seemed like just a "let's break the rules to show people we think for ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's The Name o...: YA 1950's Romance, Cold War, Friendship /s 3 38 Apr 11, 2014 11:44AM  
  • Monkey Town: The Summer of the Scopes Trial
  • Little Audrey
  • Water Street
  • Part of Me: Stories of a Louisiana Family
  • Winnie's War
  • Black Duck
  • Tennyson
  • Keeping Corner
  • Gemini Summer
  • Alphabet of Dreams
  • The Devil's Paintbox
  • On The Wings of Heroes
  • Chasing Orion
  • Bird in a Box
  • Blessing's Bead
  • The Green Glass Sea (Green Glass #1)
  • Nowhere to Call Home
  • A Thousand Never Evers
Karen Cushman was born in Chicago, Illinois.

She entered Stanford University on a scholarship in 1959 and graduated with degrees in Greek and English. She later earned master’s degrees in human behavior and museum studies.

For eleven years she was an adjunct professor in the Museum Studies Department at John F. Kennedy University before resigning in 1996 to write full-time.

She lives on Vashon Isla
More about Karen Cushman...

Share This Book

“Fathers should make you feel safe.” 19 likes
“It's important to know what you think, my dear, or else you will be so hemmed in by other people's ideas and opinions, you won't have room for your own.” 11 likes
More quotes…