Fall 2022

Torch

  • Interest Level: Grade 8 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 8

Three teens struggle to carve out futures for themselves under a totalitarian regime.

Czechoslovakia, 1969

Seventeen-year-old Pavol has watched his country’s freedoms disappear in the wake of the Soviet Union’s invasion. He’s seen his own dreams disappear too. In a desperate, fatal act of protest against the oppressive new government, he sets himself on fire in public, hoping to motivate others to fight for change.

Instead, Pavol’s death launches a government investigation into three of his closest friends. Štěpán finds his Olympic hockey ambitions jeopardized and must conceal his sexual orientation from authorities who could use it against him. Tomáš has already been accused of “antisocial” behavior because he struggles to follow the unwritten rules of everyday interactions, and now he must work even harder to meet the expectations of his father, the regional leader of the communist party. And aspiring film director Lída, Pavol’s girlfriend, is pregnant with his child, which brands her a traitor by association and upends all her plans.

With their futures hanging in the balance, all three must decide whether to keep struggling to survive in the country Pavol died hoping to save . . . or risk a perilous escape to the other side.

Format Your Price Add
978-1-7284-1568-0
$14.99
978-1-7284-6822-8
$24.99
Interest Level Grade 8 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 8
Genre Young Adult
Category Diverse Books: LGBTQIA+, Diverse Books: Mental Health & Neurodiversity, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity, SEL: A Self-Awareness, SEL: B Self-Management, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2022
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Lab ®
Language English
Number of Pages 328
Publication Date 2022-11-01
Text Type Fiction—Historical
BISACS YAF024050, YAF058190, YAF001020
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.25
Lexile 760
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Reviewed, Starred Reviews, Teaching Guides, and eSource

Reviews

Booklist

“[T]his story of revolutionary hope confronts dehumanizing forces through its resilient characters’ deeply held friendships. An astonishing and gripping read.” — starred, Booklist

G. D. Falksen

“A bold and uncompromising portrayal of life under an authoritarian regime, Lyn Miller-Lachman’s Torch combines nuanced characters and a compelling narrative into a powerful story about survival, humanity, and hope.”-G. D. Falksen, award-winning author of The Secret Life of Kitty Granger, Maiden of War, and The Ouroboros Cycle

Publishers Weekly

“Miller-Lachmann deftly balances moments of happiness and hope within an ominously rendered narrative marked by fear and potential catastrophe. This captivating political thriller is perfect for Ruta Sepetys fans.” — starred, Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

“Equally terrifying and captivating.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews

Kip Wilson

“I was immediately hooked and couldn’t put this down.” —Kip Wilson, author of White Rose and The Most Dazzling Girl in Berlin

Padma Venkatraman

“Frighteningly relevant in today’s world.” —Padma Venkatraman, author of The Bridge Home and Born Behind Bars

Carly Heath

“[O]utstanding…I was swept away.” —Carly Heath, author of The Reckless Kind

Cynthia Levinson

“Lyn Miller-Lachmann’s Torch manages to accomplish the nearly impossible—a novel that is not only intensively researched and informative, but also riveting and deeply heartfelt. Readers will learn and care in equal measure.”—Cynthia Levinson, author of the Robert J. Sibert Medal-winning The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art

Author: Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Lyn Miller-Lachmann is an author, educator, and editor. Her novels include Surviving Santiago, Rogue, and Torch. She earned a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, Lyn enjoys traveling to new places. She lives part-time in New York City and Lisbon, Portugal.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

Torch

Three teens struggle to carve out futures for themselves under a totalitarian regime. Czechoslovakia, 1969 Seventeen-year-old Pavol has watched his country’s freedoms disappear in the wake of the Soviet Union’s invasion. He’s seen View available downloads →

Torch: An Interview with Author Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Set in 1969 Prague, Torch explores the devastating impact of a totalitarian regime and the different ways young people carve out futures for themselves against impossible odds. The story is told from the perspective of three characters after 17-year-old Pavol fatally sets himself on fire View →

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