From the Publisher
Praise for City of Light, City of Dark
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A New York Public Library, Books for the Teen Age
*". . . Avi and Floca dynamically convey a timeless tale of good versus evil. Brilliantly parodying the superhero cartoons of old, this . . . is sure to be a hit with reluctant readers and advanced readers alike."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
*"It's a great story, full of characters facing Dickensian moral dilemmas and Vernian grand adventures, a villain one can hiss, and a fantastic flight over and through the City . . . an urban fantasy for middle-school readers who enjoy the 'what ifs' of imagination."--VOYA, starred review
"Avi delivers a fast-paced adventure that ably mixes fantasy with urban reality. Floca's simple but expressive illustrations capture both the magic and the grit of New York City."--San Francisco Chronicle
Children's Literature - Hazel Buys
The graphic novel, as evidenced by Avi’s book which weighs in at 186 pages, has come into its own. In an island city, the Kurbs rule. They hide the source of power and light in a small object every year at the summer solstice. If a designated seeker does not find it by the winter solstice, the fading days dim to everlasting night. This ritual is repeated annually, uninterrupted, until one year when an evil man plots to capture all the power and light for himself. He sets a chain of events into motion that threatens to plunge the island into permanent darkness. Two children hold different pieces of the puzzle that will reveal the hidden location of the object and restore the sun cycle. They must each discover what the other knows and, together, untangle the mystery before the fast-approaching winter solstice arrives. Floca’s illustrations are spare and visually descriptive, making good use of the full range of expressiveness available in black and white. His images effectively support and expand on the text. The layout is varied, moving from a single image on a page to as many as ten on the page. Some of the text is in Spanish, adding to the story’s multicultural subtext. This is the old mythology of why seasons change, inventively and successfully adapted to the vernacular of youth and presented in an appealing visual format. Avi’s book would be a good addition to a middle school library as a resource on the modern retelling of ancient myths as well as a multicultural adventure story with wide appeal. Reviewer: Hazel Buys; Ages 8 to 12.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One of the most versatile YA novelists of the day teams up with first-time illustrator Floca to produce first-rate science fiction in comic-book form. After outlining an altered version of New York City's history, the elaborately plotted saga shows how, through courage and cunning, two preteens, Carlos and Estella, and Estella's clairvoyant mother thwart a power-hungry villain and thereby prevent Manhattan from turning to ice. Against backdrops of neon lights, circling pigeons, abandoned subway stations and storefronts, Avi and Floca dynamically convey a timeless tale of good versus evil. Brilliantly parodying the superhero cartoons of old, this myth conceived in the same spirit as Who Was That Masked Man Anyway? is sure to be a hit with reluctant and advanced readers alike. Ages 9-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
Here is a science fiction novel by the popular author Avi in an intriguing format. The whole novel is told in comic strip form! It is a tale and a format that will appeal even to a reluctant reader.