Rebellions are built on hope.
Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.
With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.Published March 19th 2019 by Atom (first published March 18th 2019)
Set just “fifteen minutes in the future,” this portrait of what life would be like in America if something in the story called the Exclusion Act passed into law. American-Muslims go into “camps,” where they live for the foreseeable future. Layla is justifiably furious when she and her family get rounded up and bussed away to a camp. As an adult reader, I felt worried about her safety as she seemed very ready to get herself hurt as she snuck around, seeking contact with her boyfriend. At the same time, it seemed very realistic as her first reaction to such an unthinkable reality.
For a nation who has said “Never Again,” more than once this story more than anything illustrated to me just how hard actual peaceful resistance is in practice. In conversation, every one of us thinks that someone would “do something,” but, as this story illustrates- it wouldn’t be easy at all to accomplish anything.
There is so much discussion fodder in this one; I’d add it to a high school government class in a heartbeat. It would also be great in a Heroes Journey discussion.