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The Papercutter

by Cindy Rizzo

A deeply polarized and ungovernable United States of America has separated into two nations—the God Fearing States (GFS) and the United Progressive Regions (UPR).

Judith Braverman, a teenager living in an Orthodox Jewish community in the GFS, is not only a talented artist accomplished in the ancient craft of paper cutting, she also has the gift of seeing into peoples’ souls and can tell instantly if someone is good or evil. Jeffrey Schwartz has no love for religion or conformity and yearns to escape to the freedom of the UPR. When he’s accepted into an experimental pen pal program and paired with Dani Fine, an openly queer girl in the UPR, he hopes that he can finally find a way out.

After the woman who some regard as the protector of the Jews in the GFS is killed in a plane crash, incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism and violence sharply increase. Though most adults in the community don’t see any cause for alarm, Judith, Jeffrey and their friends recognize the peril that lies ahead.

Judith embeds a secret code in her papercuts so that she and Jeffrey can tell Dani about the growing danger to Jews in the GFS without raising suspicions from the government. When the three arrange a quick, clandestine meeting, Jeffrey is finally faced with the choice to flee or to stay and resist. And Judith is reeling from a pull toward Dani that is unlike anything she has ever felt.

Genre Young Adult
Length 212 pages
Publication Date June 17, 2021
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781642472479
Editor Katherine V. Forrest
Cover Designer Kayla Mancuso

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