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IN THE NIGHT, ON LANVALE STREET by Jane Leslie Conly

IN THE NIGHT, ON LANVALE STREET

By Jane Leslie Conly

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: May 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8050-7464-3
Publisher: Henry Holt

A summer of anticipated lazy days filled with pleasant afternoons hanging out in their blue-collar Baltimore community is marred for Charlie, age 13, and her best friend and neighbor, Shan, by the increasing drug traffic that is invading the quiet streets. The murder of an elderly neighbor has everyone unnerved, as both young and old withdraw to their own lives to mind their own business. When the strange and disturbed man in a raincoat enlists Charlie and her seven-year-old brother as “investigators” of the crime, it becomes frighteningly apparent that Shan’s brother is involved as a witness. The truth eventually emerges, the summer’s events heat up to a violently realistic and painful climax and Charlie’s life of friendship, ice cream and shared secrets of adolescence is permanently altered with the brutally vengeful firebombing of Shan’s house. Conly approaches the all too credible theme and sequence of events through a slow, easy storyline reflecting day-by-day normal life of good kids stuck in a perilous environment, sprinkled with escalating, unsettled moments of fear, uncertainty and dread. Poignant and perturbing. (Fiction. YA)