Friday, November 22, 2013

Whistle in the Dark by Susan Hill Long

Whistle in the DarkClem leaves school at the age of thirteen to work in the mines with his father, as is expected. Clem has bigger dreams, but many complications create problems for him. He finds a stray dog (his mother hates dogs), his sister has frequent epileptic seizures, he becomes friends with the scarred, school outcast whose father is an abusive moonshiner, and there's always the risk of cave-ins while underground. It's almost more than Clem can handle. Some major events rock Clem's world, including a death, and he will need to make some life-changing decisions to survive.

I liked the many emotions the author was able to touch throughout the plot. There was joy and sadness, fear and courage, hope and despair. Clem's unlikely friendship with a young girl, with facial scars that resulted in becoming the victim of verbal insults, caused him to reflect on his life and gave him someone else to care for. The dog helped create positive change, but the author included several tragic events that created despair. I thought the book was written well.

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