Out of the Dark
by Julie Lawson
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Pub Date 26 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 19 Sep 2023
When Jane Mooney’s older brother Connor lies about his age and enlists in the Great War at age fifteen, she can’t imagine ever being more devastated. But on December 6, 1917, when two ships collide in Halifax Harbour, the resulting explosion proves her wrong.
An injured Jane awakes to discover that the North End of Halifax, including her home, has been destroyed; her father and three of her brothers have been killed; her mother, recovering from a head injury, has been left confused and forgetful; and her two surviving brothers are looking to her for guidance. Like so many Explosion survivors, Jane and her family are forced to start over. This means accommodation in a newly-constructed apartment block, clothing and furniture from donation centres, and a new school.
Unfortunately for Jane, the school she must now attend is in the prosperous South End. How will she fit in with her uppity classmates?
The only bright light is that Jane now lives closer to her best friend, Livy Schneider. Livy’s older brother, Will, a student at the same school, gives Jane a job at the school newspaper. The start of the 1918 school year appears more hopeful until Jane hears rumblings of a new enemy at their door—and this one is contagious. The Great Influenza Pandemic has reached Halifax’s vulnerable shores. In a time of financial and emotional strain, and with this terrifying new threat, how will Jane keep her family safe? And why hasn’t Connor written to her? Will he ever return from the trenches?
Following in the immediate wake of A Blinding Light, with a universal message of hope and determination, Out of the Dark uses dual point of view to tell a remarkable story of rebuilding and resilience in a time of global upheaval.
Julie Lawson is the author of over 30 books for children and young adults. Her critically acclaimed works have received numerous award nominations, including the Children’s Book Centre Award for A Blinding Light, the Canadian Library Association Award for White Jade Tiger, and Forest of Reading Awards for Goldstone, Ghosts of the Titanic, A Ribbon of Shining Steel, and many more. Her YA novels include White Jade Tiger (winner of the Sheila A. Egoff BC Children’s Fiction Prize), No Safe Harbour (winner of the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award) and A Blinding Light (runner-up for the City Of Victoria Bolen Books Prize). Julie writes from her home in Victoria, BC.
A Note From the Publisher
“Jane’s remarkable courage, resourcefulness, and love for her family shine through every page of this inspirational survival story. Vivid and precise details make Halifax's triple whammy of the war, explosion, and Spanish flu immediate and real. Young readers will especially identify with the similarities between the flu epidemic and the Covid-19 pandemic.”
–Kit Pearson, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature