The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan
Life for fourteen year old Charlie Law and the residents of Little Town has taken a turn for the worse when the government is overthrown and the "Regime" assumes control. Although Charlie is too young to remember life before the Regime takeover, his parents can remember a time when there was no curfew, open political discourse was encouraged, and citizens had no fear of government henchmen known as Rascals.
Brian Conaghan has created a bizarre futuristic world. It's a totalitarian state where things have gone horribly wrong and terror reigns. Charlie becomes trapped. Blackmailed by the leader of the Rascals into actions which are morally repugnant, Charlie sees no way out.
MENTAL MEMO: Now the dark side has been entered it’s vital to find the door that leads straight out of it.
Conaghan inserts an interesting twist: the plight of refugees. Charlie's befriends newcomer Pavel Duda. Pav and his family have escaped from neighboring Old Country, hoping to find peace and stability within the regulated Little Town. The life of a refugee is difficult, especially when one's country of origin is considered a threat. It is tough for Pav to assimilate into a community when he looks, acts, and speaks differently from the other students. Charlie also begins to suspect that his friendship with Pav comes at a cost.
'That doesn’t make me from Old Country, does it?' I said.
'But hanging around with the enemy makes you the enemy too.'