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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

10 January 2012


Quaking by Kathryn Erskine is the story of a teenager finding her place in the world.

Matt (short for Matilda) has lived with every distant relative she never knew she had. Now her third cousin is taking her to yet another home. She will be living with Sam and Jessica and their adopted son, Rory in a small town in Pennsylvania.

By now Matt has closed herself off to people. She is used to not staying anywhere long as the people get tired of her or need to focus on their own children. Now she is with this Quaker couple who are preaching peace.

At school there is no peace. Matt's World Civ class is taught by a man who thinks if you are against the war in Afghanistan then you are anti-American. The houses of worship in town, that are calling for an end of the war, are starting to be vandalized.

Erskine has written a well-crafted tale of Matt's learning to trust people again as her desire to fight for peace outweighs her need to stay hidden. Quaking has a similar feel to Speak though not quite as dire. It is a great book that will make readers think about the US's place in the world.

Erskine, Kathryn. (2007). Quaking. New York: Philomel Books.

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