In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines your class, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. The only reprieve from oppression is within the drug-filled underground club scene. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. As the violent clashes between the totalitarian monarchy and the rebel forces escalate, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible grip of a deadly regime.
Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder series, writes powerfully and movingly of a girl with dangerous powers in an unusual and expertly crafted setting.
- Margaret K. McElderry Books |
- 352 pages |
- ISBN 9781442422025 |
- October 2012 |
- Grades 9 and up
Reading Group Guide
By Kimberly Derting
About the book
Seventeen-year-old Charlaina, “Charlie,” lives in Ludania, a country ruled by a cruel monarch and strictly stratified by a caste system divided by language. The smallest transgression results in immediate death. But Charlie has lived her life with a secret so dangerous that if anyone ever found out, she’d be killed. Charlie can instinctively understand the languages of every caste, including the strange new language spoken by Max, a beautiful and mysterious boy whom Charlie meets one night at an underground club. Though Charlie is intensely drawn to Max, she isn’t sure where his loyalties lie.
As the violent clashes between the totalitarian monarchy and the rebel forces escalate, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger—her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.
Common Core Curriculum Standards:
Reading Standards for Literature
Key Ideas and Details
RL 1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
RL 2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting deta see more