“A swift-paced survival tale that’s a cool blend of Lord of the Flies and Journey to the Center of the Earth.” —School Library Journal “A sharp meditation on the seemingly universal difficulties of being young, smart, and uncertain.” —BCCB “A multifaceted journey from darkness to light.” —Kirkus Reviews
Winner of the Red Maple Fiction Award
A class field trips turns into an underground quest for survival in the latest middle grade novel from the author of Edgar Award winner OCDaniel.
Mr. Baker’s eighth grade class thought they were in for a normal field trip to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. But when an earthquake hits, their field trip takes a terrifying turn. The students are plunged into an underground lake…and their teacher goes missing.
They have no choice but to try and make their way back above ground, even though no one can agree on the best course of action. The darkness brings out everyone’s true self. Supplies dwindle and tensions mount. Pretty and popular Silvia does everything she can to hide her panic attacks, even as she tries to step up and be a leader. But the longer she’s underground, the more frequent and debilitating they become. Meanwhile, Eric has always been a social no one, preferring to sit at the back of the class and spend evenings alone. Now, he finds himself separated from his class, totally by himself underground. That is, until he meets an unexpected stranger.
Told from three different points of view, this fast-paced adventure novel explores how group dynamics change under dire circumstances. Do the students of Mr. Baker’s class really know each other at all? Or do they just think they do? It turns out, it’s hard to hide in the dark.
Wesley King is the author of over a dozen novels for young readers. His debut, OCDaniel, is an Edgar Award winner, a Canada Silver Birch Award winner, a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, and received a starred review from Booklist. The companion novel, Sara and the Search for Normal, received a starred review from School Library Journal and was the recipient of the Violet Downey Book Award and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award. King has also written The Incredible Space Raiders from Space!, A World Below, Butt Sandwich & Tree, and Kobe Bryant’s New York Times bestselling Wizenard series. He lives in Newfoundland.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (March 6, 2018)
Length: 272 pages
Grades: 3 - 7
Ages: 8 - 12
Lexile ® HL670L
The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®