Cushman, Karen. The Loud Silence of Francine Green. 2006.
Francine is the quiet and sort of boring middle child of the Green Family. The country is scared of the Communists and is in the process of ferreting all of the Communists from America. The Green family, like many families, are erecting a bomb shelter in their backyard. Her family lives in Los Angeles, right in the middle of the entertainment industry.
Francine goes to Catholic School and becomes friends with a new girl, Sophie. Sophie is outspoken and questions authority. Her father and a family friend are blacklisted because the FBI is convinced they are Communists. Sophie shows Francine another view and also teaches her to speak up and ask questions, to not just accept everything she is told as fact.
Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction. This novel has a slightly different feel than Cushman's previous novels, which all feature girls during the Middle Ages. But, Francine is similar to Cushman's previous characters-- they are smart and they are ahead of their time.