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|Going where it's dark|
Author: Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds
A coming-of-age novel about a boy whose daily life is difficult because he stutters but who discovers enormous courage when he goes on heart-pounding cave adventures.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 178905
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 6.20
Points: 19.0 Quiz: 67898
Kirkus Reviews (10/01/15)
School Library Journal (12/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/03/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2015 Gr 5–8—Naylor's writing, including her "Shiloh" quartet and the "Alice" series, is lauded for its approachability and sincerity. Her latest book is no exception. A boy named Buck Anderson is mostly friendless and bullied because of his stutter. After learning about caves in school, Buck and his best friend David become obsessed. But since David moved away, Buck has been forced to explore by himself. He finds a hole that he desperately wants to explore, but he knows that it's dangerous. And Buck has other things keeping him from exploring his discovery. His uncle makes him do household chores for an angry veteran named Jacob. His mother tries to cure his stutter by taking him to a religious revival. And his twin sister is preoccupied with her new boyfriend. Buck's story begins with a general mood of hopelessness. Slowly but surely, Naylor pokes holes into the darkness, and rays of hope shine through. This is a triumphant tale, but happiness is hard-won. Those who related to or enjoyed Vince Vawter's Paperboy (Delacorte, 2013) will find this a contemporary counterpart. VERDICT Naylor offers a well-constructed and well-paced story that will be appreciated by anyone who has ever felt out of place or bullied.—Jessica Ko, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 12/01/2015 Buck’s best friend in the world has moved hundreds of miles away. Buck has a hard time making friends due to his stutter, and David was one of the few people who was patient as he listened to Buck’s struggles to get out sentences. The class bully continues to taunt Buck because of his speech impediment, issuing a threat Buck is certain the bully will make real. But a job helping out an elderly neighbor and the accidental discovery of an entrance to a cave might just make summer better than Buck had expected. Naylor’s novel pulls off a nifty, unusual feat, combining survival in the wilderness with survival in the world of bullies, so Buck’s journeys to combat his stuttering and his nemesis parallel his quest to explore the newly discovered cave. This is the rare book you could give to readers of both Vince Vawter’s Paperboy (2013) and fans of survivalist adventures by Gary Paulsen. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.