By: Katherine Locke
Genre: YN - Children's / Teenage: general non-fiction
Published by: Random House
Published: 2 Aug 2022
ISBN: 9780593487662


The Fountains of Silence meets Spinning Silver in this rollicking tale set amid the 1956 Hungarian revolution in post-WWII Communist Budapest from Sydney Taylor Honor winner Katherine Locke.

In the middle of Budapest, there is a river. Csilla knows the river is magic. During WWII, the river kept her family safe when they needed it most--safe from the Holocaust. But that was before the Communists seized power. Before her parents were murdered by the Soviet police. Before Csilla knew things about her father's legacy that she wishes she could forget.

Now Csilla keeps her head down, planning her escape from this country that has never loved her the way she loves it. But her carefully laid plans fall to pieces when her parents are unexpectedly, publicly exonerated. As the protests in other countries spur talk of a larger revolution in Hungary, Csilla must decide if she believes in the promise and magic of her deeply flawed country enough to risk her life to help save it, or if she should let it burn to the ground.

With queer representation, fabulist elements, and a pivotal but little-known historical moment, This Rebel Heart is Katherine Locke's tour de force.

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Csilla was born the day the Danube river flooded through Budapest. She has hair that is silver, the same colour as the river, and she knows that the river is magical.

In communist Budapest, everything is grey, and being different is not a good thing. So Csilla keeps her thoughts and feelings hidden, as she plans her escape with her Aunt Ilona. But as protests happen in Poland and spread to Hungary, can Csilla walk away from her beloved country or will she stay and fight for it?

This novel is set amid the 1956 Hungarian revolution, and is full of interesting and unexpected characters that draw you into the story.

You’ll love Csilla and her courage and bravery as she tries to find out who she is and what she stands for. Historical, magical and ethereal, this book will be loved by readers in Year 9 and up.

Reviewed by Michelle