Booktalk: Somewhere in the Darkness by Walter Dean Myers

Very few authors of children’s and young adult literature are as prolific or as popular as Walter Dean Myers.  He’s written dozens of books, including realistic fiction, historical fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.  Somewhere in the Darkness is one of my favorite novels of his; it’s a simple story that carries a lot of emotional power.


Jimmy Little’s life has stopped in tenth grade.  He’s lost his direction, he can’t keep up with school, and his life is going nowhere.  But then something happens that changes everything – his father comes back into his life.  Jimmy’s father has been in prison for as long as he can remember.  Jimmy doesn’t even know him – he’s a complete stranger.  Well, Jimmy’s father has come back into his life not just to meet him, but to take him away.  Now Jimmy is leaving his mother, his friends, and everything he’s ever known, to live with a total stranger.  And Jimmy doesn’t even know what he’s getting into.  You see, Jimmy’s father hasn’t been telling him the whole truth.  There are some things he was truthful about, like how much he loves his son.  But there are other things he’s kept secret, and as time passes, Jimmy will learn them all.  By the end of their journey, Jimmy and his father will learn to love each other, hate each other, or maybe both.

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