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A SMALL FREE KISS IN THE DARK by Glenda Millard

A SMALL FREE KISS IN THE DARK

By Glenda Millard

Age Range: 9 - 11

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2264-7
Publisher: Holiday House

Eleven-year-old Skip, a budding artist, is a runaway from a violent foster home. His only friend, Billy, is a homeless man who tries to keep Skip at arm’s length. As brutal as Skip’s life on the streets can be, it’s worse still when bombs fall, devastating the city. War has come, and the daily lonely terror of homelessness has been supplanted by total chaos. Oddly, though, Skip is almost happy. He and Billy find Max, a six-year-old boy, in the ruined shell of the city library, and suddenly Skip has the closest thing he’s ever had to a family. They set up housekeeping in an abandoned amusement park, where they are joined by a troubled teenage mother and her infant. Between dodging looters and soldiers, the newly formed family finds time for music and make-believe (with an unfortunate recurring theme of playing Indian). Alas, no amount of grit and determination will erase the bombs from the sky or the soldiers from the countryside. This philosophical, appealing survival tale is simultaneously grim and hopeful. (Fiction. 9-11)