NIGHT FIRES by George Edward Stanley


Age Range: 9 - 13
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In 1928, after his father died in a car crash, 13-year-old Woodrow Harper and his mother move from Washington, D.C. to Lawton, Okla., where Woodrow is befriended by Senator Crawford, his next-door neighbor. The senator lost his son in World War I, so Woodrow becomes a surrogate son while Crawford becomes the father Woodrow has lost. However, when Woodrow realizes that his new friend is involved with the Ku Klux Klan, he is torn: The Klan offers a way for a newcomer to belong and meet the “right people,” but at a price. Woodrow’s first-person narration is immediate and appropriately naïve, the plot compelling enough to keep readers going to see if Woodrow can extricate himself from the Klan’s clutches. While not a subtle novel by any means, the theme of individual conscience versus mob mentality plays out well, though characterization and setting are not as developed as they might be. Still, a solid work for the intended audience. (Historical fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: June 23rd, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7559-5
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Aladdin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2009