In Darknessby Nick Lake
Winner of the 2013 Michael L. Printz Award
This is the story of "Shorty"-a 15-year-old boy trapped in a collapsed hospital during the earthquake in Haiti. Surrounded by the bodies of the dead, increasingly weak from lack of food and water, Shorty begins to hallucinate. As he waits in darkness for a rescue that may never come, a mystical bridge seems to/b>
Winner of the 2013 Michael L. Printz Award
This is the story of "Shorty"-a 15-year-old boy trapped in a collapsed hospital during the earthquake in Haiti. Surrounded by the bodies of the dead, increasingly weak from lack of food and water, Shorty begins to hallucinate. As he waits in darkness for a rescue that may never come, a mystical bridge seems to emerge between him and Haitian leader Toussaint L'Ouverture, uniting the two in their darkest suffering-and their hope.
A modern teen and a black slave, separated by hundreds of years. Yet in some strange way, the boy in the ruins of Port au Prince and the man who led the struggle for Haiti's independence might well be one and the same . . .
“A vivid and unforgettable voice ... incredibly moving.” The Times
“Unputdownable” Daily Mail
“Gripping ... beautifully subtle.” New York Times
“Both violent and subtle, unexpectedly reminding me of The Wire. Characters, settings, and the half-believed Haitian vodou religion are handled with patience and complexity ... A serious, nuanced, challenging novel. Trust me, there are plenty of young readers who hunger for exactly that.” Patrick Ness, Guardian
“Remarkable ... Lake's elegant, restrained prose and distinct characters will reward adults and older teenagers able to brave a story with strong language, harrowing scenes of brutality and an almost painful stab of joy at the end.” Wall Street Journal
- Bloomsbury UK
- Publication date:
- Age Range:
- 14 - 17 Years
Meet the Author
NICK LA KE is the editorial director for fiction for HarperCollins Children's Books UK and the author of two previous novels. Nick became fascinated by Haitian culture while pursuing his master's degree in linguistics.
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WOW! What a book! I have never read an introduction to a book that is so jaw dropping intense! I had no choice but to keep reading!! In history class, I always learned about US history of slaves. We did learn some things about the UK, but not about it's slave history. After finishing the book and reading the author notes, I'm very happy that even though this was a work of fiction, it did include some real people. The characters in this book felt so real while reading it that it takes your breathe away. Mr. Lake weaves a beautiful story of darkness and survival. Mr. Lake paints vivid images with his writing so the reader see and feels everything!! What I enjoyed most about the book is the great characters in it that make a major impact not only in their lives but in the lives around them. Both Shorty and Toussaint faced a great ordeal in their lives yet they wanted a change. At first, I couldn't see the connection between these two characters. Mr. lake wrote two similar stories with two different eras. All revolving around the same thing. Some of the events in story made me cringe. To feel and see what they went through just broke my heart. This book is one amazing story. With a powerful beginning, the darkness of the world evades the readers mind. Dark and gritty, this book truly open your eyes.
Oh. My. Goodness. Nick Lake has written a phenomenal story. He did so with such emotion and horrific facts that I was teetering back and forth on the brink of shock and tears. There were so many facts interlaced through the entire story, it's almost as if IN DARKNESS was written as non-fiction. Lake did an amazing job with explaining the devastation of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. Life details of slave and black revolutionary leader Toussaint L'Ouverture were intertwined with the present day character, Shorty and his life events living in the slums of Site Soleil. Each time period held it's own trouble for each man. Both were violent and desolate. Both Shorty and Toussaint lived an austere and future-less life, their days were filled with death, violence and a desire for something better. Lake does a brilliant job capturing the devastation and raw emotion. He also has the amazing ability to capture the raw and heart-wrenching feelings that belong to these characters. He makes you feel as if you are right there with them and going through the horrific tragedy that brought Haiti to its knees. IN DARKNESS is desolate, gritty and harsh. Nick Lake weaves it all together with a hint of promise. In my opinion this novel is a must read. -From The Authors Note: "Route 9 and Boston and the war between them - are real, as is nearly every detail of life in Site Soleil. It is one of the poorest, most violent slums in existence, even more so now in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. It has frequently been named as the most dangerous place on earth. People really did, and do, eat pies made of mud, such as their desperation. Babies really were, and are, left to die on piles of trash. For years, the slum was virtually cut off by roadblocks and especially during the bloody period in the first decade of the new century, police and attaches were accused many times of shooting unarmed civilians during demonstrations and home invasions. Many residents simply disappeared, never to be seen again."
The best quality of this book is the raw emotion. The author writes beautifully, capturing the tone and syntax the main characters would have utilized. The author incorporates Haiti's earthquake to the country's attempts at liberation. The plot line flows perfectly, the reader will not be confused at all with the switching view points. The reader will be introduced to both characters early on in the book and will get to know and like them both within the first few chapters. The Goodreads summary does a wonderful job of explaining the plot. The events are fast-paced and there is plenty of action and suspense to keep the reader turning the pages. The characters are very likable, they both have qualities that make them very similar. The main characters are brave, resilient, strong, and charismatic in many ways. The secondary characters mold the main characters into who they are; in that way, they do have a large impact on the story. The author is very descriptive, the reader will be able to picture the scenes and environment. Overall, this book is a terrific read. The reader will see the parallels between modern day Haiti and the sordid past. The reader will be able to connect with the main characters and think of them as friends, he/she will be rooting for them. There is a raw intensity to this book that makes it very hard to put down, the reader will likely finish the book within a day or two. This book is highly recommended to young adult/adult readers.
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