Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Code of Honor / Alan Gratz / 278 pages

     Wow.  This was an exciting book with lots to think about.  It is a YA story about a high school senior  who is football star, prom king, headed for West Point, etc.  Then, his brother is on the news as a terrorist traitor soldier to the United States.  Being half-Iranian, Kamran's world upends.  Not only is he suddenly viewed suspiciously at school by everyone including former friends, but Homeland Security takes him and his parents away for questioning and can apparently hold them indefinitely in an unknown location.  Kamran is only 17, a minor.  He has no rights and no recourse.  I didn't know that they could do this to citizens!  Apparently they can.  He is in solitary with no access to the outside. no visitors. no news. no communication with his parents.  Even people in prison get that much.
     The CIA grills him daily.  At last, one man believes him when he says his brother is not a traitor.  He and his brother played an Iranian superhero game as children and Kamran figures out that his brother is using it as a code in his online addresses that he finally is allowed to see.  Then, the exciting process of tracking everything down begins.  
     Luckily the chapters are only 1-2 pages long because it is too exciting to see what will happen next.  It is all CIA spy stuff and Kamran is totally in it.  Whom should you trust?  Who is the real traitor?  How can it end well?
     This would make an awesome book for a book club whether for YA or adult.  There are so many things to discuss.  Especially now.  How far to go in profiling mid-east or any group of people?  Is Homeland Security too powerful?  How to keep the U.S. safe while preserving freedom.  How would you feel if you were suddenly shunned by everyone you knew?  What if you found out that a friend or their family had done a terrorist act?  etc. 
     F for Fantastic book.

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