Going Where It's Dark
"He awoke in total darkness and was completely disoriented. The
only sound he heard was his own breathing, that and the intermittent
growling of his stomach. He had never seen the world so black.
Blacker than black..."
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has to be one of the most prolific
authors in the pantheon of children's lit. She has over 140 books to
her name. The ones I've read are really excellent. Recall the Shiloh
series? She has the ability to put her likeable but flawed characters
into very challenging situations and getting us to care whether they
sink or swim. Going Where It's Dark is no exception.
For Buck (13) something like a phone he has to answer is
torture. His stutter means he has to work really hard to force words
out. It doesn't help that bullies torment him every chance they get
and that David, the only friend who didn't get bothered by his speech
pediment, the only peer he did things with, has just moved.
Even Buck's parents seem not quite as accapting as they could
be. His mother, for example, takes him to a faith healing session
where just about any teen would have been mortified. Later he
eavesdrops on his family discussing his problem.
Buck does have one escape from the stresses in his life. He's
an avid caver. He and David had explored together. Now he yearns to
discover a cavern noone else has ever set foot in. In fact he may
have found an entrance at an overgrown, abandoned property. He plans
to explore it when he finds the perfect day...
...a day none of his family would learn of his plans. Solo
caving is very dangerous. Even a small slip could less to death.
This excellent coming of age story combines a highly suspenseful
plot with sensitive insight into personal growth and family dynamics.
This is another excellent summer read that will captivate even some of
the kids who would rather put books aside until September.
On a personal note, I went to the UMaine lavender graduation. It was
A great big shout out goes out to all those who won awards and
graduated. Way to go!
Sent from my iPod