About the BookThree weeks into the blackout, sixteen-year-old Alex and her best friend Anthony trek to the next town looking for answers, but end up breaking Alex's autistic brother out of the school he was placed in by Child Protective Services.
What do you call the difference between what you should feel and what you do feel? Life?The blackout has been going on for three weeks. But Alex feels like she's been living in the dark for a year, ever since her brother, who has autism, was removed from the house, something Alex blames herself for. So when her best friend, Anthony, asks her to trek to another town to figure out the truth about the blackout, Alex says yes. On a journey that ultimately takes all day and night, Alex's relationships with Anthony, her brother, and herself will transform in ways that change them all forever. In this honest and gripping young adult novel, Andrew Simonet spins a propulsive tale about what it means to turn on the lights and look at what's real.
A BookRiot Recommended ReadSimonet (author of Wilder, BCCB 11/18) writes with fierce, compact lyricism of the intimacy of such a sibling relationship and the understanding that Alex's familiarity with Georgie and his cohort brings her about the world ("Normies live in a gated cognitive community"), making it a loving challenge to the medical model of disability. Readers emerging from the pandemic's darkest shadows will empathize with Alex's experience, and they'll appreciate her philosophy: "You're not like everybody else. But neither is everybody else." --Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, starred review Simonet illustrates the tenuous line between hope and despair that Alex walks as she makes pivotal choices in a world turned inside out. --Publishers Weekly Simonet holds raw humanity up to the light and throws all of life's jumbled mess together, showing, for example, guilt alongside romance. This book reveals a society forced to shift dramatically, something that feels particularly poignant post-2020. Simonet's portrayals include the "Nation of Difference," or the world of disabled people and their families who are shown leading lives that are difficult and joyful, full of nervous fear and also full of love. --Kirkus Reviews A mirror for teens responsible for caretaking younger siblings . . . given the ubiquitous uncertainty of the pandemic, many young people will also recognize the feeling of being powerless. --School Library Journal