“RACE THE NIGHT,” by Kirsten Hubbard, Disney-Hyperion, Nov. 8, 2016, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 8 and up)
The world is over. It ended a long time ago. But there is hope; at least that’s what Teacher says. Twelve-year-old Eider and the other children at the desert ranch are the only ones left — the only ones except Teacher, Nurse and the Handyman.
With the help of the adults, Eider and her friends are preparing for the future, preparing for rebuilding the world. But the days are long and the lessons tedious. Eider can’t help letting her mind wander to the stories in the fairytale book she hides in the storage room, or to the secret papers she collects from the world Before. Most of all, she can’t help thinking about her little sister, the one that never existed.
When Teacher begins to expand lessons, Eider and the other kids struggle. How can they read minds or see in the dark? Are they really that special? As the lessons continue, the kids start asking questions, dangerous questions about life Before and what exists outside the ranch. And the more they ask, the more they realize Teacher may not be telling them everything.
Race the Night is equal parts creepy and compelling. It becomes clear pretty early on that not all is what it seems. And I’m pretty sure that reading Race the Night is a different experience based on the age of the reader. As an adult, I was able to pick out some of the more subtle hints throughout that a younger reader might not. This isn’t really a problem, but I would be interested to see what a middle-grader takes away.
Author Kirsten Hubbard is an excellent storyteller. Her ability to create tension is commendable and her prose is unique and inviting. Race the Night is dark and haunting but is also hopeful. This is a book that will stick with readers long after they read it.
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