A 2016 Michael L. Printz Honoree
"This is East Texas, and there's lines. Lines you cross, lines you don't cross. That clear?"
New London, Texas. 1937. Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller know about the lines in East Texas as well as anyone. They know the signs that mark them. They know the people who enforce them. But sometimes the attraction between two people is so powerful it breaks through even the most entrenched color lines. And the consequences can be explosive.
Ashley Hope Pérez takes the facts of the 1937 New London school explosionthe worst school disaster in American historyas a backdrop for a riveting novel about segregation, love, family, and the forces that destroy people.
About the Author
Ashley Hope Pérez grew up in Texas and is the author of three award-winning novels for young adults. Out of Darkness received a Printz Honor and the Tomás Rivera Book Award. She is an assistant professor of world literatures at The Ohio State University and lives in Columbus with her husband and two sons.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Out of Darkness starts with a bang, literally. From the first chapter, the story has readers on the edge of their seats as the book’s characters navigate their ways through a series of twists and turns. Set in Depression-era East Texas, this book is of particular interest to someone like me, a native of oil country who is familiar with many of the locations in the book. Through the lens of a young woman navigating life in a new town, Pérez is able to address a variety of sensitive topics like race, while also presenting a coming of age story about two star-crossed lovers. This is not to mention the true historical context of the story, which is centered on the most deadly school disaster in American history, the 1937 New London School Explosion. Whether you’re a history buff, a fan of romance novels, or just interested in a good page-turner, this book is for you. For that reason, I give this book five stars. I couldn’t put it down! Ryan P., age 17, Mensa 76
Out of Darkness is one of the best novels I read in 2015. It's gritty, real, a bit heart-breaking but it's definitely an important book. So often we see people like the main characters, Naomi and Wash, put to the sidelines and ignored. Out of Darkness really sheds light on some perspectives you may have read so little on, and it does so in a respectable and honest way. I highly recommend this book to any historical fiction or contemporary fans who aren't afraid to shed some tears. Out of Darkness is truly a masterpiece!