The Enemy: Detroit, 1954

Set in 1954, this compelling historical novel tells the story of a young girl’s struggles and triumphs in the aftermath of World War II. The war is over, but the threat of communism and the Cold War loom over the United States. In Detroit, Michigan, twelve-year-old Marjorie Campbell struggles with the ups and downs of family life, dealing with her veteran father’s unpredictable outbursts, keeping her mother’s stash of banned library books a secret, and getting along with her new older “brother,” the teenager her family took in after his veteran father’s death. When a new girl from Germany transfers to Marjorie’s class, Marjorie finds herself torn between befriending Inga and pleasing her best friend, Bernadette, by writing in a slam book that spreads rumors about Inga. Marjorie seems to be confronting enemies everywhere—at school, at the library, in her neighborhood, and even in the news. In all this turmoil, Marjorie tries to find her own voice and figure out what is right and who the real enemies actually are. Includes an author’s note and bibliography.


    The Enemy: Detroit, 1954 Reviews

  • Ms. Yingling

    ARC from the publisher at ALAMarjorie Campbell is trying to navigate junior high in Detroit in 1954. Her best friend Bernadette is frequently absent with earaches, and things are odd at home. The fami...

  • Ally

    I liked this book. It wasn't my favorite because they would flashback and flash forward a lot which made it somewhat confusing to read. Also the timeline was good and wasn't unrealistic....

  • Nola

    This book was pretty good. I really liked the main characters, Marjorie and Inga. I wish the ending had wrapped up the story a little more, but I still liked it. I liked how Marjorie became more confi...

  • Barbara

    This wonderful piece of historical fiction is set in Detroit in 1954, a year before I was born. Although I grew up in the rural South, I could still relate to many of the events the author describes h...

  • Kimbra Power

    Where has Sara Holbrook been hiding her talent for fiction all these years? I've only known her as a poet, and an outspoken and wonderful one at that, so to pick up her brand new novel and finish it i...

  • Kim

    Marjorie lives in Detroit in the 1950s, a decade that has been depicted as placid and "normal"--when the wars were over and America was Great, but M's life is pretty full of confusing things. Her best...

  • Ella_C1

    A new girl moves to a new town and goes to school with the protagonist. But it is not an average new girl this new girl has a secret. Margorie ( the protagonist) happens to find out the secret. With t...

  • Dotty

    Transported to another timeFamiliar but different, my story but another's storyNancy Drew, bomb drills, frenemies Underachieving mothers and kind but struggling fathersWandering and wondering down mem...

  • Gary Anderson

    From her “Chicks Up Front” days to a recent piece on how one of her poems was botched by a Texas standardized test, Sara Holbrook has always been in the right place, saying what needs to be said. ...

  • Mary Lee

    I think this is the first children's/YA book I've read that's set during the Cold War. Through lots of specific details, Holbrook gives the reader a good feel for the time and the place (Detroit).The ...