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Stealing Liberty

Posted on June 24, 2017 at 4:20 AM

 


I PRE-ORDERED THIS ONE!

About the Book

 

Title: Stealing Liberty

 

Author: Jennifer Froelich

 

Genre: Young Adult

 

A heist so monumental, it may cost them everything… When Reed Paine is sent to a secret detention school for teens whose parents are branded enemies of the state, he doesn’t expect to find friendship – especially after coming face to face with Riley Paca, a girl who has every reason to hate him.

 

But when Reed, Riley and a few others start reading the old books they find in tunnels under the school, they begin to question what they are taught about the last days of America and the government that has risen in its place. Then the government decides to sell the Liberty Bell and Reed and his friends risk everything to steal it – to take back their history and the liberty that has been stolen from them (Stealing Liberty/ Clean Reads).

 

 

 

About the Author

 

Jennifer Froelich published her debut novel, Dream of Me, in late 2011, which reviewers praised as “well-orchestrated with outstanding imagery.” Her second novel, A Place Between Breaths, published in 2014, was called “a roller-coaster ride with enough twists and turns to keep everyone interested” and won an Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest’s 23rd Annual Self Published Book competition. Jennifer is a frequent contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul. A graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, Jennifer worked for many years as a freelance editor and writer before publishing her own work. She lives in beautiful Idaho with her husband, two teenage kids, and a rescue cat named Katniss.


 

Book Excerpts

 

Excerpt One:

 

My escort pushes me. “Pick up the pace, kid.” I stumble on a sharp rock and cut my toe. It hurts more than it should and I pull up to face him, fists curled at my side. I’ve grown about a foot since my sixteenth birthday, which means I can stare him down, eye to eye. He just smirks. How about I smash your nose? For a minute the urge is so powerful, my pulse pounds against my throat and red spots blur my vision.

 

Don’t do anything stupid, Reed. Pick your battles. The voice in my head is my dad’s, so I listen. We climb aboard a rusty hybrid bus parked in front of the bombed-out terminal. “Welcome,” says the autopilot. It’s one of the retro models, formed like a human, with LED eyes and everything. When magnetic tracks were first installed, citizens didn’t trust computers to maneuver vehicles safely along roadways. At least that’s what my grandmother told me. Humanoid pilots were designed to make them feel safer. Pretty soon, people had more important things to worry about. My escort takes a seat behind the pilot, but I keep going. Only one other passenger is on the bus — a girl with long blond hair who sits in the fifth row, pressed against the window. Bruises swell on her left cheekbone and along her jaw. Her lip is crusted with blood and her right eyelid is swollen shut. Nausea washes over me, along with fresh anger. “Sit!” our escort barks. The girl flinches. I take a seat across from her and shift toward the window. The door squeaks closed and the bus lurches forward. We travel on an old freeway so desolate, we don’t encounter a single other transport. I wish I was calm enough to sleep — so numb to the government’s strong-arm tactics, they no longer get to me. Instead I stare past the landscape and try not to shake. Try not to relive my nightmare or think about how it felt to wake up with a gun to my head. I imagine a different outcome. Fighting back — or breaking out of the state home before they showed up. If only.

 

Excerpt Two:

 

I’m fascinated by stories of immigrants who came to America from all corners of the world, giving up everything just to step foot on these shores. Just like my grandparents. I read about what they sought. Freedom, opportunity, safety, peace. “Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” It’s from a poem once displayed at the Statue of Liberty, meant to welcome people to the land of the free, the home of the brave. It makes me sad, thinking how different everything is now. I glance at Adam. He’s studying a vinyl album cover, reading lyrics, I suspect. We’re changing, every one of us, by what we read. It’s as if we have only existed in darkness before, with one light guiding us down a fixed path. Now we’re flooded with light, and it’s a prism, shining from a thousand angles, giving us perspectives in colors we never imagined.

 

History texts call Grandma’s generation the Lost Ones, but just in passing. Teachers talk about them quickly, always ready to move on. But Grandma was a great storyteller, which made sense when she finally told me about Floodlight . Grandma said people spent a lot of time imagining the future when she was a kid. In movies, books and music, they thought up utopias, dystopias. They wrote about technology taking over or disappearing altogether. Most of all they imagined change. It’s not surprising. She was born during the dawn of cell phones and cyberspace, after analog gave way to digital. When plasma fought with LCD, then disappeared for LED, 3D and pixel paint. Satellites crowded the atmosphere. Electronic books were born, everyone began storing data on the cloud. Transportation engineers built the first bullet train and laid the first mag tracks. Gaming systems mimicked movement. Robots performed surgery and medicine got smart. Retinal grafts got to be as popular as tattoos. The first nanochips were installed, then the first tragus implants, allowing us to sync our data with any device we hold. Everyone looked to the future and wondered what next?

 

Grandma said people rush to extremes, but never settle on the truth. No one knew the great technological advances characterizing the past two centuries would stagnate, too gradually to be noticed. And the change? People celebrated it. Then they fought over what it meant, who had the right to make it happen and who should just shut up. But they didn’t understand. It was happening with or without their permission, and never how they envisioned it. Like a pebble you nudge with your foot, only to watch it roll down a hill and start an avalanche. You could have stopped the pebble, but why would you? How could you know it would destroy a town, a city, a nation? “We were rich and spoiled,” Grandma said, “throwing away more food than we ate, living from one form of entertainment to the next. Offended by everything, we grew weaker still, building bubbles around our opinions, enraged by anyone who shared ideas not matching the most popular narrative. War and disease caught us unprepared, which is why most of us didn’t survive.”

 

Excerpt Three:

 

History texts call Grandma’s generation the Lost Ones, but just in passing. Teachers talk about them quickly, always ready to move on. But Grandma was a great storyteller, which made sense when she finally told me about Floodlight . Grandma said people spent a lot of time imagining the future when she was a kid. In movies, books and music, they thought up utopias, dystopias. They wrote about technology taking over or disappearing altogether. Most of all they imagined change. It’s not surprising. She was born during the dawn of cell phones and cyberspace, after analog gave way to digital. When plasma fought with LCD, then disappeared for LED, 3D and pixel paint. Satellites crowded the atmosphere. Electronic books were born, everyone began storing data on the cloud. Transportation engineers built the first bullet train and laid the first mag tracks. Gaming systems mimicked movement. Robots performed surgery and medicine got smart. Retinal grafts got to be as popular as tattoos. The first nanochips were installed, then the first tragus implants, allowing us to sync our data with any device we hold. Everyone looked to the future and wondered what next?

 

Grandma said people rush to extremes, but never settle on the truth. No one knew the great technological advances characterizing the past two centuries would stagnate, too gradually to be noticed. And the change? People celebrated it. Then they fought over what it meant, who had the right to make it happen and who should just shut up. But they didn’t understand. It was happening with or without their permission, and never how they envisioned it. Like a pebble you nudge with your foot, only to watch it roll down a hill and start an avalanche. You could have stopped the pebble, but why would you? How could you know it would destroy a town, a city, a nation? “We were rich and spoiled,” Grandma said, “throwing away more food than we ate, living from one form of entertainment to the next. Offended by everything, we grew weaker still, building bubbles around our opinions, enraged by anyone who shared ideas not matching the most popular narrative. War and disease caught us unprepared, which is why most of us didn’t survive.”

 

Excerpt Four:

 

Reed is frowning. Something brews behind his eyes. “You said the Bell will travel by freight train?” Sam nods. “From Old Philly to the Western Sand? Any chance it will pass on these tracks?” Sam shrugs and bends over his tablet, tapping and swiping with sure fingers. Finally he raises his eyes. “It’s possible. There are a couple routes from Philadelphia to San Francisco still passable since the Yellowstone landslide, and this one hasn’t been bombed by rebels. Yet.” Reed starts pacing. “Is there a way to hack the transportation system? To make sure it will pass the school?” “Probably,” Sam says. “Even if we do, the Bell will be crated and traveling by pretty fast,” Paisley says. “Not much to see.” Reed stops pacing and his eyes lock with mine. My heart turns over. I somehow know what he’s thinking and, for the first time, the hole left by Zak’s death feels like it might heal. “I don’t want to see it,” he says. “I want to steal it.”

 

 

 

 

 

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