By Sonia Levitin
(Harcourt Children's Books, Hardcover, 9780152018276, 192pp.)
Publication Date: April 1999
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Deviant. Rebellious. Abnormal. The Elders say Gemm 16884 is all these things, and that he is a threat to the utopian society in which he lives. The Elders give him one chance to save himself: He must undergo the mysterious and painful “cure,” or he and his twin sister, Gemma, will be automatically recycled. Gemm chooses “the cure” and finds himself in the year 1348, at the onset of the Black Death. He is now Johannes, sixteen, living in Strasbourg--a town beset by anti-Semitism. Johannes struggles to hold on to his faith and family, his love for Margarite, his passion for music, and his belief in the goodness of human beings. But can the will of one boy change the world? Award-winning author Sonia Levitin weaves a chilling tale of a futuristic society colliding with the past--and delivers an unforgettable message about the recurring nature of history.
Sonia Levitin is the author of many acclaimed works of historical fiction, including The Return, a Parents' Choice Honor Book and winner of the National Jewish Book Award; Journey to America, an ALA Notable Book; and Escape from Egypt, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a Booklist Editors' Choice. Ms. Levitin writes and teaches in Los Angeles.
“I was profoundly moved to discover that a historical incident from long ago had such strong parallels in our own times, in my own life....That is why I felt I must write this book.”—Sonia Levitin