Review: Saving Sky

September 2, 2011

Stanley, D. (2010). Saving sky. New York, NY: Harpercollins Childrens Books.  208 p.  978-0061239052.  $15.99.  Gr. 5-8.

In an alternate version of the United States, Sky Brightman and her family live a relatively peaceful life on a New Mexico ranch.  With attacks on US soil increasing, Arab Americans are now being interned like the Japanese Americans during World War II.  Sky knows it isn’t right, and makes the courageous decision to save her classmate Kareem.  Stanley doesn’t pull punches in this political thriller that could easily be realistic fiction.  The questions raised are meaty and important.  The world Stanley has created is terrifying, but she softens it by having a “hippie” family, who have chosen to live off the grid, at the story’s center. Stanley asks tough questions about how we would treat our citizens if the terrorists were winning and offers few answers.  It’s a novel that needs a heavy hand, yet Stanley manages to be more thoughtful than didactic.
Additional Thoughts:
I thought this book was amazing. Really. This is a book that people are missing. Really. And I don’t know how it slipped through the cracks. Tough subject matter? Maybe. But the alternate reality is so real . . . maybe because they alternate reality is easy to imagine anyway. Stanley didn’t have to try to hard on that. But she doesn’t talk down to her audience. She presents her difficult questions for her readers to explore on their own.
Similar Titles (Taken from Books and Authors): The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had – Kristin LevineThe Cruisers – Walter Dean MyersCrunch – Leslie ConnorHeart of a Shepherd – Rosanne ParryMissing in Action – Dean HughesWeedflower – Cynthia Kadohata

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