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ChinAlive Cover Even smallerCharlie Evers is a tenth grade student at an international school in Shanghai, China. He will never finish his last research assignment. Ignoring all warnings about Chinese Internet censors, he navigates to sites that look informative, but shred the government on politically sensitive issues. As a teenage American student he thinks he is safe.

The illusion of safety is ripped away when Charlie is taken. Imprisoned onboard an old river boat, a seven-day journey up the Yangtze River catapults him deep into China's turbulent past, to a buried mountain fortress. This is the headquarters of ChinAlive, a Democracy movement he never imagined, with a mission the world thought long dead — the overthrow of the Chinese government.

The life Charlie Evers took for granted is over. His new life — that of a conspirator, terrorist, and refugee — is certain to earn him a date with the executioner. But the bullet will not be free. Families who wish to reclaim a loved one’s body are charged for the bullet – but only if Charlie’s family is still alive.

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In a more tolerant world, Zane Walker’s charade would have been ignored. In Saudi Arabia, a sixteen year old boy masquerading as an online cleric cannot be ignored. In a media studies class he is taking at an international school, he is to create media personae, an online presence using social media. One student creates a new product. One creates a service. Another creates a non-profit to raise money and awareness. Zane Walker creates an international incident.

His interpretation of the assignment, because of its incendiary possibilities, was never to go live, like those of his classmates. Somehow, inexplicably, it does. He now has thousands of followers, thinking his fatwas– religious edicts–are coming from a scholarly Muslim cleric. To many, he is leading a long overdue Islamic reformation. 

When the religious police show up at his western compound with a decree to detain him, the only reformation they are interested in is his head on a plate. The truth of his efforts, that he was set up by  a terrorist cell to foment discord between the  United States and Saudi Arabia, may not be enough to quell the wrath of the religious establishment, the Royal family, and the worldwide condemnation for his disrespect. 

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