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“What if you slept? And what if, in your sleep, you dreamed? And what if, in your dream, you went to heaven and plucked a strange and beautiful flower? And what if, when you awoke, you had the flower in your hand? Ah, what then?”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Dreams of a New Day is a Young Adult novel. It is a dystopian tale of what the world is like after The Great Chaos. The story’s message is relevant to young adults. But its importance is not just limited to young adults. It’s a message that needs to be heard by all.
Our story takes place sometime after The Great Chaos of 2044. Mara, Nora, and Sam live in The Walker Complex. The girls work in the laundry and the boys work in the mines. They have no life outside of working, eating, and sleeping. Friendship is forbidden. They have no friends, no schools, and no families.
This is their story.
The opening lines from the book:
“The same twenty beds, ten to a row, covered with dark blue blankets. In her bed Mara hears the night-muted sounds of the other nineteen girls. The unpainted cinderblock walls offer no relief. This is her home. She looks at the other girls through the dim light always left on—never really dark—never really alone. Mara is the only one still awake. Nobody else seems to mind the life they live. Go to work everyday at sunrise, return every night, eat dinner, sit for a short while in the common room with the other girls, and then to bed. At least she doesn’t have to go to the mines like the boys. Her job is in the laundry, hot and humid. Lately, in defiance, she has secretly marked some clothes by tearing the label. Drab as they are, they at least seem to belong only to her. This act makes her feel good, feel like she is somebody.
The large gray metal door to her dorm opens and a manager, slow step after slow step makes her way between the beds looking at all the girls. Mara shuts her eyes. The large woman walks to the end of the room where her bed is, does an about-face, and saunters back out. The closing door echoes on the windowless gray walls.
“How can I be somebody, living like this?” She doesn’t see a way out. She looks at the sleeping girls. “Don’t they wonder? Don’t they feel trapped?” She doesn’t think so, no one has ever talked to her about their feelings, but of course this is forbidden. Mara wipes her face with her sleeve. Her one escape is in her sleep when incredible stories happen. She wonders if others have these stories as well. Sadly, she closes her eyes to wait for the private world of her night stories.”
Nora, Mara, and Sam make great discoveries. They become friends—discover what social justice means. We are living in dangerous times and what our characters discover is extremely important.