Burning Nation

432p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. Feb. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545548731; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9780545548762.
Gr 9 Up—In this gritty sequel to Divided We Fall(2014), Private Daniel Wright finds himself at the forefront of Idaho's fight for independence from the United States. Following the state's refusal to enforce the Federal Identification Card Act, military occupation ensues, and Wright and his fellow soldiers, overwhelmed and outnumbered, find themselves on the losing side of America's Second Civil War. Surrounded by death and escalating brutality, Danny, conflicted over his sense of duty and his desire to start a peaceful life with his girlfriend JoBell, watches the Idaho he loves descend into savagery. A symbol for the rebellion and the target of federal forces, Danny struggles to maintain his humanity while his enemies will stop at nothing to destroy him and the rebellion. Adrenaline-fueled and gut-wrenching, Reedy's depiction of an America on the brink of governmental collapse feels all-too-plausible in today's complex political climate. Here, readers are given an intense first-person look at the atrocities of war as seen and experienced by Danny, whose growing inner turmoil is understandable in light of the brutality he faces, and it's this gradual change in character that makes Danny more believable. Further pushing the boundaries of realism is Reedy's use of italicized news reports and social media posts in particular that puts the audience in the middle of the action, much like what can be experienced in online coverage today. Frighteningly authentic, Daniel Wright's plight will have readers clamoring for the final installment in this action-packed and thought-provoking trilogy.—Audrey Sumser, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Mayfield, OH
Deadly protests have expanded to outright civil war, and Pvt. Danny Wright, high school friends, and fellow soldiers continue their fight for the newly created Republic of Idaho against the Federal government. Danny vacillates between being a fierce anti-federalist, a state's-rights supporter, and a reluctant hero who wants to go home. This confusion makes him more believable, though not necessarily a more likable character.

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