Don’t Breathe a Word

HarperTeen. May 2021. 352p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780063038882.
Gr 8 Up–A group of teens who belong to a secret society at a private boarding school in New York are tested on how well they can keep secrets and follow the dean’s strict guidelines. Eva, one of the newest students on campus, isn’t sure what she is getting herself into when she is invited to a Fives recruitment party out in the woods. Trying to make friends, she accepts the invitation and the challenges she is asked to complete in order to join the secret society. Alternating chapters offer the story of Connie, a student who volunteers to test the school’s nuclear fallout shelter in 1962, with tragic results. Readers will be engaged as Eva and Connie’s stories intertwine and the suspense builds chapter by chapter. Many facets of this story could be relatable to high school students who have had to change schools, make new friends, and find their niche. Most characters are cued as white.
VERDICT An engaging thriller, recommended for YA collections.

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