Truthers by Geoffrey Girard
Carolrhoda Lab, 2017. ISBN 9781512427790
(Age: 16+) Highly recommended. Themes: Conspiracy; Terrorism - 9/11; Truth and Lies; Foster children; Identity; Mental health. Katie's Dad has been forced into a mental institution because he claims to know something about the 9/11 terrorism plot that could imply there was government complicity in what happened. Is he being silenced because he has spoken out? Is his former service in Afghanistan in some way involved? Conspiracy or truth? Is he just a victim of drug use and PTSD because of his former service or does he really know something that would upset the world's perception of what actually happened on 9/11? Katie is plunged into the drama as she tries to find a way to free her war-hero father from this 'imprisonment' that seems to be more than just mental health treatment. Plunged into the "Truthers" world (conspiracy theorists acting within cyberspace and beyond, with hackers working to uncover hidden 'truths'), she becomes twisted and challenged by what is truth for her father and for her own personal history.
This is a brilliantly compelling and slightly disturbing story - but one that you won't want to stop reading. The teenaged characters are intelligent and very likeable (and there are hints of a blossoming romance and 'coming-of-age' drama). The plot is begging to be made into a movie script. This author has delved deeply into the conspiracy world and has revealed the dilemma in the cyber-world of determining truth and of hiding information. And for Katie, there is added mystery about her own existence and identity.
Highly recommended for ages 16 - Adult readers.