From the sparkling opening pages, where we learn a lot about the main character, Skip, as he explores why he can’t have a friend, this endearing novel for teens is both action packed and sensitively written.
Skip runs away and pals up with long-time street person, Billy. Skip’s talent is as an artist and he sees the world in terms of shadows, the bits other people miss – but it is a talent we can see will never be fulfilled in a world that has rejected him.
But the world is about to change. Bombs hit and chaos ensues. Then the best skills to have are enterprise and ingenuity – and those skills Skip and Billy, adapted to a harsh life, have already had to learn. For them it’s normal to have no place to sleep, no regular supply of food.
Their survival skills mean they become one of the strong, the people who are able to adapt and also they become able to take care of six-year-old Max, dancer Tia with her baby Sixpence.
In a genre awash with fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels, I approached this book with a ‘here we go again’ feeling, because it is set around the time of the destruction of society after a catastrophic attack.
But what it is really is a great exploration of how individuals who don’t necessarily fit in can be excellent in extraordinary situations. It explores the meaning of family and human resilience and is a celebration of both the individual and of difference. It’s a tough and stark read in places, short, but it will not only have you turning the pages, but will stay with you for a long time.
So far my favourite children’s book of the year. The Australian author is doing a blog tour over Easter, if you want to find out more you can visit here: http://templarpublishing.blogspot.com/2011/04/small-free-kiss-in-dark-blog-tour-25th.html
A breath of fresh air for teens wanting something really well written, thought provoking and challenging.
A small free kiss in the dark Glenda Millard Templar 6.99