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The knife of never letting go
2014
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Summary
A dystopian thriller follows a boy and girl on the run from a town where all thoughts can be heard -- and the passage to manhood embodies a horrible secret.

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
In a settlement where women and girls died long ago and men and boys are infected by the Noise of others' thoughts, making silence impossible, 12-year-old Todd is startled to find a quiet space in the woods-and a girl. As he flees the power-hungry men of Prentiss-town with his dog, Manchee, and the girl, Viola, Todd discovers a world he never knew existed-a frightening landscape where life proves very fragile. Podehl flawlessly interprets raw emotion, dogmatic certainty, and canine simplicity, providing an anchor in the chaos of this tempestuous 2011 Odyssey Honor audiobook. Standard: Students will recognize the hazards that threaten today's environment and be able to discuss possible solutions. Learning Activity: This audiobook can provide a platform for writing about life today and possible implications for the future, starting with "what if." (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Chased by a madman preacher and possibly the rest of his townsfolk as well, young Todd Hewitt flees his settlement on a planet where war with the natives has killed all the women and infected the men with a germ that broadcasts their thoughts aloud for all to hear. This cacophanous thought-cloud is known as Noise and is rendered with startling effectiveness on the page. The first of many secrets is revealed when Todd discovers an unsettling hole in the Noise, and quickly realizes that he lives in a much different world than the one he thought he did. Some of the central conceits of the drama can be hard to swallow, but the pure inventiveness and excitement of the telling more than make up for it. Narrated in a sort of pidgin English with crack dramatic and comic timing by Todd and featuring one of the finest talking-dog characters anywhere, this troubling, unforgettable opener to the Chaos Walking trilogy is a penetrating look at the ways in which we reveal ourselves to one another, and what it takes to be a man in a society gone horribly wrong. The cliffhanger ending is as effective as a shot to the gut.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2008 Booklist
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