Divided We Fall

I am Private First Class Daniel Christopher Wright, I am seventeen years old, and I fired the shot that ended the United States of America.

When I enlisted in the Idaho Army National Guard, I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the state of Idaho against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  I swore that I would obey the orders of the president of the United States and the governor of Idaho, as well as the orders from officers appointed over me, according to the law and regulations.

But what could I do when my president and my governor called each other domestic enemies and both issued me lawful orders to fight against the other?  When both claimed to support the Constitution?  When the Army was ordered to fight against the Army and no place was safe?

I swore to obey the orders of my president and of my governor.  I swore to defend the Constitution.  I swore these things before God.

May God forgive me.  May God in Heaven forgive us all.

Danny Wright never thought he’d be the man to bring down the United States of America. In fact, he enlisted in the Idaho National Guard because he wanted to serve his country the way his father did. When the Guard is called up on the governor’s orders to police a protest in Boise, it seems like a routine crowd-control mission … but then Danny’s gun misfires, spooking the other soldiers and the already fractious crowd, and by the time the smoke clears, twelve people are dead.

The president wants the soldiers arrested. The governor swears to protect them. And as tensions build on both sides, the conflict slowly escalates toward the unthinkable: a second American civil war.

With political questions that are popular in American culture yet rare in YA fiction, and a provocative plot that asks what happens when the states are no longer united, Divided We Fall is Trent Reedy’s very timely YA debut.


  • Junior Library Guild Selection, 2014
  • International Literacy Association Young Adults Choices Reading List, 2015


“[A] stunning trilogy opener… In a story line tied to current affairs, Reedy tackles pressing issues with prescient clarity and delicate sophistication. His setup is terrifying in its plausibility and made all the more so by Daniel’s conflicted everyman nature, with both sides portrayed as sympathetic yet flawed. Though the tech is slightly futuristic, this cautionary tale screams immediacy and urgency, a page-turner that rapidly moves toward a catastrophic cliffhanger.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Reedy does a very good job of presenting all sides’ opinions, especially through the tweets and news reports that end chapters. This has the dual advantage of giving readers an action-filled story that will also make them think. The dramatic ending promises more.” —Booklist

“Reedy skillfully stages his drama in a near future that’s a direct heir of our current domestic political fractures and technological probabilities, lending the scenario both immediacy and credibility…. This is a crew of hard-drinking, rodeo-riding, gun-loving teens who don’t generally figure as good guys in YA action lit, and they will undoubtedly win fans as they head into a second title and an uncertain future.” Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Action-packed… Strong characters, a fast-paced narrative, and complex questions about what it means to be an American make Reedy’s speculative novel a must-read.” —School Library Journal

“DIVIDED WE FALL delivers cover-to-cover action,intrigue and suspense, all with a gut-punch of an ending that’ll leave you begging for the next installment.” —Brad Thor, author of THE LAST PATRIOT