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The Other Side of Dark

By: Sarah Smith

ISBN: 9781442402805

JLG Release: Jan 2011


Sensitive Areas: Language: Strong Language, Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes, Language: Mild Language, Violence: Suicide
Topics: U ,S , History , Boston , Slavery , The slave trade , Historic buildings , Frederick Law Olmsted , Harvard University , Race relations

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

Law Walker and Katie Mullens couldn’t be more different. He’s the son of a wealthy African-American historian and a white architectural historian. She’s a talented artist from a poor family who, after the death of her mother, begins to draw what she sees: ghosts and the horrific ways they died. Katie and Law are drawn together b

Law Walker and Katie Mullens couldn’t be more different. He’s the son of a wealthy African-American historian and a white architectural historian. She’s a talented artist from a poor family who, after the death of her mother, begins to draw what she sees: ghosts and the horrific ways they died. Katie and Law are drawn together by Pinesbank, an estate that Law’s father wants destroyed because of its ties to the slave trade, his mother wants restored because of its place in Boston history, and that Katie knows is important because of her new friendship with the ghost of a boy who lived there. While the premise may seem like that of many other supernatural romances, there is a depth to this title that others are lacking. Law is torn between his mother, whose passion for architecture he shares, and his strident father, who has built his career on working toward reparations and expects his son to follow in his footsteps. Katie is trying to hang on through her grief. Details of her visions and conversations with the dead will haunt readers, even as they’re thinking about how race shapes actions and relationships, and how the past can change the present. Recommended for fans of paranormal romance and historical fiction alike.—Karen E. Brooks-Reese, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA

Horn Book

Since her mother died, fifteen-year-old Katie has been able to see and speak to ghosts by channeling the circumstances and emotions of their deaths into drawings. Near Boston’s historic Pinebank Mansion, Katie meets George Perkins, an earnest young boy who’s been dead more than a century. George claims that a “treasure” rema Since her mother died, fifteen-year-old Katie has been able to see and speak to ghosts by channeling the circumstances and emotions of their deaths into drawings. Near Boston’s historic Pinebank Mansion, Katie meets George Perkins, an earnest young boy who’s been dead more than a century. George claims that a “treasure” remains in dilapidated Pinebank, which is slated for imminent demolition. Katie’s first-person narration alternates with that of Law, an acquaintance from school. Law’s father is an imposing Harvard professor of African American history. But rather than his father’s passion for black history and reparations, Law has inherited his white mother’s deep love of historical architecture. Law is almost as fascinated by Katie’s sketches of George and of Pinebank in its glory as he is by Katie herself. “What sort of person draws the past like that? Like it’s alive and pains her?” When imperious ghosts of slaves begin haunting Katie, the teens suspect that the so-called treasure is blood money, meant to finance the illegal importation of slaves by George’s grandfather (and respected Boston Brahmin) Thomas Handasyd Perkins. Their discoveries challenge assumed Boston history and enrich the story of the Underground Railroad. Smith approaches the intricate racial politics in her characters’ community, families, and consciences unflinchingly; well-researched historical detail weaves seamlessly into a contemporary mystery that’s also a head-on confrontation of the ongoing repercussions of racism and slavery.

Junior Library Guild

  • The novel’s central conceit—a shocking “What if?” of American history—is original and well researched. Moreover, it provides a fascinating mystery for Katie and Law to solve. A strong supernatural element adds to the intrigue, making The Other Side of Dark an exceptional thriller.
  • Katie and La
    • The novel’s central conceit—a shocking “What if?” of American history—is original and well researched. Moreover, it provides a fascinating mystery for Katie and Law to solve. A strong supernatural element adds to the intrigue, making The Other Side of Dark an exceptional thriller.
    • Katie and Law’s fraught interracial relationship, along with the implications from their discoveries about Pinebank, inspires scenes of poignant introspection and frank discussion about race relations in today’s society. Readers will be engaged and eager to present their own views.
    • The conclusion is skillfully choreographed, and the final revelatory scene about Pinebank is stunning.

Book Details

ISBN

9781442402805

First Release

January 2011

Genre

Fiction

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

6" x 9"

Page Count

320

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.2; Points: 11;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 3.7; Points: 19;

Lexile

Level 650L

Format

Print Book

Edition

-

Publisher

Atheneum

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Strong Language, Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes, Language: Mild Language, Violence: Suicide

Topics

U,S, History, Boston, Slavery, The slave trade, Historic buildings, Frederick Law Olmsted, Harvard University, Race relations,

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