Codes for Reviews

First Initial (Overall Rating):
E = Exceptional
VG = Very Good
G = Good
F = Fair
NR = Not Recommended

Second Initital (Reading Level):
A = Average Reading Level
E = Easy
M = Mature

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In Darkness

Young Adult Historical Fiction

F/M Lake, Nick. In Darkness. Bloomsbury, 2012. 352p. 978-1-59990-743-7. 17.99.

The story unfolds in alternating chapters about Shorty, a 15-year-old Haitian gangster stuck in the rubble after the devastating 2010 earthquake, and a third person narrative about Toussaint L’Ouverture, the revolutionary leader from the late 18th century that helped end slavery in Haiti. While both halves are interesting and inform the reader about Haiti’s history and current state of affairs, the connection between the two halves is flimsy. Shorty and Toussaint have little in common and even though the author tries to connect them through Haiti’s tradition of voodoo, it falls flat. It probably would have worked better as two separate books. It might still be a good addition to a library collection since it is historical fiction and there are very few books, especially for young adults, about Haiti. Loren Spector, LAPL, Felipe de Neve

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