No spirited football games. No raucous rock concerts. No holiday parades.

A hundred years from now, those would never happen. In a hundred years, crowds are regulated – and while some people can speak, the rest have to whisper.

The Whisper Rules have kept most people quiet and low-tech ever since the Great Scream, a rash of food shortage riots that killed half the world. Now, food rations are the norm, and only some people can use social media and smartphones – because they set off the riots in the first place.

30 DECIBELS follows Ava, who’ll soon have her “Fifteen.” That’s when the candle on her cake determines whether she’s a Whisperer or a Leader. Her best friend just became a Leader.

But Ava won’t let some fairy-tale tradition control her fate.

She blows out her own candle with a hidden fan, making herself a Whisperer: forbidden to sing solos with the choir, laugh or cry in public, or whisper louder than 30 decibels.

Ava finds solace at the library, the only place Whisperers can hold authority. As she listens closely, she hears rumblings of change to come.

When her mother’s high-powered politico boss plans to punish Whisperers in unspeakable new ways, Ava realizes her true leadership and how to claim it. Seeking help, she finds her best friend has become an adversary she never expected: the perfect Leader. Alone, Ava must come clean to take a stand – for the world to see.

30 DECIBELS is Matched meets The Giver, starring Speak’s Melinda Sordino.

YA Speculative Fiction
Word count: 85,000
Best Query, YALitChat Query Kick-Around Contest, 2010
Best Pitch, Pitchapalooza, Printer’s Row Lit Fest, Chicago, IL, 2011 (also covered in Newcity Lit)
Winner, Utica Writers Club critique contest, YA dystopian category, 2012
Entering one last edit before querying