“Revolution 2050” by Jay Chalk

In this day and age, we once again need reminders that each generation must fight for its own freedoms or it will lose them. What better plotline to borrow than the original: Orwell’s 1984. A dystopian society, close enough to our own to be scary. A repressive regime. A disaffected lower-level Party member, afraid to buck the system, but at the same time unable to follow the rest of the sheep any more. The question is, can one person make a difference? If so, how?

In Revolution 2050 we have a middle-American high school setting. Sam is a 27-year-old teacher who is beginning to have second thoughts about his support for the Directorate. He meets Katie, and sparks of various kinds fly.

A measure of quality of such a novel is whether the main character’s journeys, inner and outer, ring true. Is Sam near enough to reality to enthuse us, to make us believe that yes, one person can make a difference? In the case of this book, the author mostly carries it off. Except for one large coincidence that allows the story to proceed and the hero succeed against unbeatable odds, we are led, step by step, through the development of an ordinary person into a true hero. Can a meek schoolteacher become a tough revolutionary? It seems he can.

The first half of the book is taken up with Sam’s slow change in attitude, so the action is more inner than exterior. In the second half, the agonizing is over, the action starts and the tempo speeds up considerably.

Well-written if not completely original. Recommended for dystopian history fans, and especially YA readers who really need to hear this theme one more time.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)


This author probably thinks he hired an editor. He didn’t. He got a decent job of proofreading for spelling and usage errors. All the other mistakes – like using “suddenly” four times in half a page with little action – are the kind of error an editor picks up.

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