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Leading Voice

This is the story of a special child who cannot speak or produce sounds. As the narrator of this novel, however, he speaks to us in a warm, rich voice. Of course, people around him cannot hear or understand him, and because his condition cannot be diagnosed they think he is retarded or autistic. But the boy, now almost 13, is intelligent and self-confident. He listens to his inner voice and protects his independence, never revealing to anyone that he can read, write and fully understand what the adults are saying. As the plot unfolds he also shows extraordinary courage: he saves his older brother Kobi and brings him back to his family.

On the face of it, Kobi is an ordinary youth. He doesn`t pay much attention to his younger brother, but he comes to the rescue when other boys bully him. However, as often happens at that age, he does not tell his family when something is troubling him. One day, Kobi disappears from home and the narrator discovers that he is spending the weekend with an ultra-Orthodox sect that returns people to religious Judaism. When he comes home, he is different and his behavior slowly changes too. He gradually distances himself from his family and starts observing a religious life-style. His secular parents realize that he has been brainwashed and try not to pressure him or make the situation worse. The narrator`s surveillance of his brother turns this into a thrilling adventure story. At the same time, it is a psychological novel that illuminates the special world of the narrator, who copes with his limitations as well as with the crises of adolescence. During the school summer vacation, when Kobi goes to a seminar organized by the sect, the narrator goes as well, hoping to bring him back home. He faces a lot of hostility, but his courage serves as an eye-opener to his brother, who finally realizes that one never gives up one`s family.

Title Leading Voice
Writer's Last Name Kantor
Writer's First Name Avram
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad
No. Pages 176pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Kol Rishon