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The Resource In darkness, Nick Lake

In darkness, Nick Lake

Label
In darkness
Title
In darkness
Statement of responsibility
Nick Lake
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, fifteen-year-old Shorty, a poor gang member from the slums of Site Soleil, is trapped in the rubble of a ruined hospital, and as he grows weaker he has visions and memories of his life of violence, his lost twin sister, and of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who liberated Haiti from French rule in the 1804
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Michael L. Printz Award, 2013.
  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2013.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Gr 9 Up — Trapped in the rubble of Haiti's massive 2010 earthquake, teenage Shorty desperately waits for rescue. While in darkness, events of his traumatic, violent life replay in his head. He is haunted by his father's brutal murder, his twin sister's disappearance, and the armed gang activity that has been his means of survival in Site Soléy (Cite Soleil), a very real and dangerous slum. As he faces death and struggles to understand the external forces that have shaped him, Shorty gradually feels the uplifting spiritual presence of revered slave liberator Toussaint L'Ouverture and draws strength and hope from the man's extraordinary life, determination, and idealism. The pervasive Haitian voodoo belief in spirit transfer empowers Shorty and connects him with Touissant across time. In alternating chapters of "Now" and "Then," Shorty's and Toussaint's stories unfold. The relentless oppression, poverty, violence, and instability of the country is vividly conveyed through Shorty's stark, graphic narrative. Toussaint's story provides historical background for the socioeconomic and political conflicts that continue today. As the author notes, he portrays the essential spirit and history of Touissant with some omissions and simplifications. For example, Touissant learned to read as a boy, and not late in life, but this factual inaccuracy does not diminish the account of his charisma and significance. The entangled actions of gangs and government, the complicated relationship between Haitians and foreign-aid organizations, and the rich mix of Creole and French patois provide insight and authenticity. A striking cast of characters, compelling tension as Shorty confronts his own death, and the reality and immediacy of Haiti's precarious existence will captivate secondary readers.—Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NC --Gerry Larson (Reviewed December 1, 2012) (School Library Journal, vol 58, issue 12, p122)
  • /* Starred Review */ Shorty, 15, is trapped in the rubble of a hospital following the 2010 earthquake that left Haiti in ruins. As time wears on without rescue, he relives the journey that brought him to the hospital with a bullet wound, recounting his life running drugs and gunning down enemies for one of Site Solÿy’s most notorious gangs. In a startling but successful feat of literary imagination, Lake (the Blood Ninja series) pairs Shorty’s story with that of Toussaint l’Ouverture, the 18th-century slave who led the revolt that forced out the island’s French colonizers. The narrative is as disturbing (people are hacked to death, an encephalitic baby is found alive in a trash pile) as it is challenging; the book moves back and forth in time from Shorty’s fictional first-person account, shot through with street slang and Creole, to Toussaint’s story, told in third-person. But the portrait it reveals of a country relegated throughout history to brutality and neglect is powerful and moving, as readers come to understand that Shorty is held captive by more than just the ceiling that fell on him. Ages 14–up. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed November 7, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 45, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ A tale of two Haitis—one modern, one historic—deftly intertwine in a novel for teens and adults. Readers first meet Shorty under the rubble of the recent earthquake, as he struggles to make sense of his past, present and future. Through flashbacks, they learn of his gangster life in a dangerous Port-au-Prince slum, where he searches for his twin sister, Marguerite, after they've been separated by gang violence. In his stressed state, Shorty communes with the spirit of Toussaint l'Ouverture, leader of the slave uprising that ultimately transformed Haiti into the world's first black republic. Lake (Blood Ninja II: The Revenge of Lord Oda, 2010, etc.) adeptly alternates chapters between "Now" (post-earthquake) and "Then" (circa turn-of-the-19th century). His minimalist, poetic style reveals respect for vodou culture, as well as startling truths: "In darkness, I count my blessings like Manman taught me. One: I am alive. Two: there is no two." While the images of slavery and slum brutality are not for the faint-hearted, and Shorty's view of humanitarian workers may stir debate, readers will be inspired to learn more about Haiti's complex history. Timed for the second anniversary of the Haitian earthquake, this double-helix-of-a-story explores the nature of freedom, humanity, survival and hope. A dark journey well worth taking—engrossing, disturbing, illuminating. (author's note) (Fiction. 14 & up)(Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2011)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10020071
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Lake, Nick
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
800
Intended audience source
Lexile
LC call number
PZ7.L15857
LC item number
In 2012
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 9
  • 12
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Haiti Earthquake, Haiti, 2010
  • Haiti
  • Toussaint Louverture
  • Survival
  • Gangs
  • Violence
  • Haiti Earthquake, Haiti, 2010
  • Haiti
  • Toussaint Louverture
  • Survival
  • Gangs
  • Violence
Target audience
adolescent
Label
In darkness, Nick Lake
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
21 cm.
Extent
341 p.
Isbn
9781599907437
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2011022350
System control number
(OCoLC)738346546
Label
In darkness, Nick Lake
Publication
Dimensions
21 cm.
Extent
341 p.
Isbn
9781599907437
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2011022350
System control number
(OCoLC)738346546

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      85 Literary Lane, Newnan, GA, 30265, US
      33.38561 -84.669793
    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797

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