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Saving Sky

( 9 )

Overview

Although the country is at war, terrorists strike at random, and widespread rationing is in effect, thirteen-year-old Sky Brightman is remarkably untouched by it all. She and her family live off the grid on sixty acres of rural New Mexico ranch land with chores to do, horses to ride, and no television or internet to bring disturbing news into their home.

But when a string of mysterious arrests begins and Sky's new friend, Kareem, becomes a target, she is finally forced to ...

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Saving Sky

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Overview

Although the country is at war, terrorists strike at random, and widespread rationing is in effect, thirteen-year-old Sky Brightman is remarkably untouched by it all. She and her family live off the grid on sixty acres of rural New Mexico ranch land with chores to do, horses to ride, and no television or internet to bring disturbing news into their home.

But when a string of mysterious arrests begins and Sky's new friend, Kareem, becomes a target, she is finally forced to confront the world in all its complexity. With courage, ingenuity, and fierce determination, Sky meets injustice head-on and shows the tremendous impact one person can have on her community.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Against a backdrop of war by terrorism, with suicide bombers successfully destroying refineries and wreaking havoc with the U.S. power grid, the Brightman family battles the forces of prejudice, fear, and hate in Sante Fe in the not-too-distant future. Thirteen-year-old Sky's parents have created an alternative lifestyle on their solar-powered, sustainable farm. Aiming to foster peaceful coexistence with nature, they incorporate spiritual rituals into their daily lives, such as offering blessings for the terrorists' victims and celebrating the winter solstice, when "Light will begin to drive out the darkness." Stanley (Bella at Midnight) smoothly blends old-fashioned, contemporary, and futuristic story elements: Sky rides a horse-drawn sled for fun, carries a cell phone for emergencies, and protests against the internment of Middle Eastern neighbors, which has become official government policy. The personal becomes political when Sky's mother's colleague is detained, and the family decides to hide the man's son, Sky's classmate. This thought-provoking novel explores both the frightening power of mob mentality and fear tactics, along with hopeful possibilities offered when individuals take courageous stands for justice. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This will certainly raise poignant questions about a world that is only very slightly unfamiliar and about the way readers would respond in similar circumstances."
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“This will certainly raise poignant questions about a world that is only very slightly unfamiliar and about the way readers would respond in similar circumstances.”
Booklist
"In this provocative title, award-winning author Stanley asks young readers to consider what courage might look like in an America under psychological and physical siege. The recognizable adult characters, from the truly good to the fearful to the insidiously evil, are drawn straight from today’s headlines, while the young people manifest a courage few can emulate. Readers will have much to discuss . . . beautifully written."
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
In a terrifying near-future, the terror of which lies precisely in its nearness, Stanley has created a middle grade novel of friendship and courage. Thirteen-year-old Sky lives a protected life with her sister and their loving parents on sixty off-the-grid acres of northern New Mexico high desert. This idyllic existence is disrupted by a series of terrorist attacks against the United States, targeting oil and natural gas installations and the power grid. The nature and details of the attacks remain secondary to their impact upon this small community. The focus is on something equally deadly arising from within—prejudice and hatred toward those with "foreign" names and appearance. Kareem Khalid, Sky's classmate, becomes the target of Homeland Security when his father and cousin are arrested. The agents are now after Kareem. What's chilling is that in this alternate future, the United States government is rounding up people of Middle Eastern descent and sending them to internment camps. Stanley renders this scenario credible with surprisingly few subtle narrative strokes. The story's swift turns open the reader's heart and mind at the same time as they shock the character into questioning hers. Stanley's choice of viewpoint is perfect, a third-person perspective that stays close to Sky's consciousness. At the same time the details of school and community resonate deeply with a sense of place, a believable New Mexico that is deeply aware of its traditions and its own checkered past. Stanley writes about it with knowledge and affection. A complex, layered novel that also manages to work as a suspenseful adventure tale. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Living on a New Mexico ranch, Sky Brightman and her family are largely removed from the disturbing news of the war on terror and are sheltered from images of death and destruction as suicide bombers wage war on the United States. Then, when Kareem, a seventh-grade Middle Eastern classmate, is picked on by bullies, and his doctor father is detained by federal agents, Sky resolves to stand by the boy. In a scene that stretches credulity, Sky and her mother collaborate to remove Kareem surreptitiously from school. They safeguard him in their home and build a secret place for him in the barn in case he should need one. Kareem goes into hiding when suspicious Homeland Security agents come looking for him. In the meantime, an attack knocks out the power over a good portion of the country. When Homeland Security comes again, Kareem is spotted and knows he must turn himself in; the president has ordered the DHS to hold detainees until the war ends. Four months later, at the state's Land of Enchantment essay award ceremony, Sky reads from Kareem's poignant journal and is heartened by the audience's reception. The mood of the novel is muted by the spare detail. The main characters are well rendered and likable, and, in her portrayal of the earth-centered, nurturing Brightman family, Stanley succeeds in delivering the message that hope trumps fear.—Susan W. Hunter, Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
Kirkus Reviews

In Stanley's latest, the post-9/11 future has taken a dark turn. The war on terror has gone on for years, causing food rationing and an oil shortage. Terrorists have ramped up attacks on U.S. soil, and the constant red-alert days have kept anxiety levels on high. Then it happens: Homeland Security starts rounding up "suspects"--anyone of Middle-Eastern descent--and placing them in detention centers. Standing against the fear and hatred is seventh grader Sky Brightman, whose unconventional, off-the-grid upbringing has given her a belief that love conquers all. The Brightman family's 60-acre, self-sufficient New Mexican ranch, isolated from the constant news feeds from television, radios and the Internet, is a balm, as are their ecumenical daily blessings to heal the troubled universe. When officers come after her classmate Kareem, Sky resolves to rescue him. This page-turner subtly builds an all-too-believable near future, sowing just enough clues to keep readers informed and rarely descending into blunt exposition. It skillfully captures the irrational fear of a public under siege while giving kids a modern-day, almost-just-like-them female hero who champions hope. Inspiring. (Thriller. 10-14)

Booklist (starred review)
“In this provocative title, award-winning author Stanley asks young readers to consider what courage might look like in an America under psychological and physical siege. The recognizable adult characters, from the truly good to the fearful to the insidiously evil, are drawn straight from today’s headlines, while the young people manifest a courage few can emulate. Readers will have much to discuss . . . beautifully written.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This will certainly raise poignant questions about a world that is only very slightly unfamiliar and about the way readers would respond in similar circumstances.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This will certainly raise poignant questions about a world that is only very slightly unfamiliar and about the way readers would respond in similar circumstances.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061239052
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/24/2010
  • Pages: 199
  • Sales rank: 1,413,632
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including The Silver Bowl, which was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and Book Links Lasting Connections and was an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Cup and the Crown; The Princess of Cortova; Saving Sky, winner of the Arab American National Museum's Arab American Book Award and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart. She is also well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture book biographies.

Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Enjoyed.

    I liked this book a lot. For one thing it has girls and boys but happens to be romance free! Although it is intense during some parts. This book has a good moral and it talks about the value of human life and that just cuz someone else from jerusalum or china or even america it doesn't mean they are better or worst than you or me. I enjoyed this and recommend it to diane stanley readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 4, 2011

    Amazing

    This book is just amazing and is just like my family dont get bad news and dont listen to it dont let anything get you down and thats what this book is about

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 21, 2012

    I loved the book! The only reason I didn't give it five stars is

    I loved the book! The only reason I didn't give it five stars is because i feel that some parts just leave you hanging and it doesn't give you enough detail in those parts. You just have to assume. It is about two friends, Sky and Kareem, who go on a great adventure when Kareem's dad gets taken away. Then, Kareem has to go into hiding because they are after him next. He needs a trap where he can hide. Will Kareem get taken? Will Sky get put in jail for aiding a fugitive? Read this amazing book to find out. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2012

    Skol

    Should i get it.l??????

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    Exciting

    Great

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    good

    nice book

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews

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