SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS by Walter Dean Myers
Kirkus Star

SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

An eminent author who's excelled with both tragedy (Scorpions, 1988, Newbery Honor) and funny, lighthearted novels writes in a serious vein but offers a realistic gleam of hope. Jimmy, 14, has been raised by his beloved, dependable "Mama Jean," a friend of parents he doesn't remember; his mother is dead, and his dad, "Crab," is in prison for killing a man in an armed robbery. Suddenly Crab shows up, claiming that he's on parole and has a job in Chicago. Jimmy agrees to go with him, but Crab's lies begin to unravel even before they leave New York: he has kidney failure, and has escaped from a prison hospital ("When they start operating on an inmate, I don't know what they'd be thinking"); the job is an illusion. The two go on to Arkansas, where Crab hopes old friend Rydell will vouch for his innocence: Crab was convicted of murder as the result of another associate's plea-bargaining. Rydell, who once betrayed Crab with his silence, betrays him again by calling the police; Crab surrenders, then dies soon after in the hospital. Myers builds a poignant picture here of a failed man whose clumsy reaching out to his son comes too late to make a real bond. Yet Crab does leave a legacy: going home to Mama Jean, Jimmy--a bright, honest, loving boy who has recently been floundering in his inner-city school and exhibiting signs of real depression--resolves that the next generation will be different: "He would know just how he was like his son...and where their souls touched and where they didn't." Sober, thought-provoking, rich in insight and detail: another splendid achievement. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-590-42411-4
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1992




WORKS BY WALTER DEAN MYERS:

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