2012 Caldecott Honor Book
New York Times Notable Book
Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year
Publisher's Weekly Best Book of the Year
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
From the Author
It is not often, in this digital age, that we get a chance to stop, to really stop and just be. Be in the moment. Be with our families. Be with our neighbors. Be one with our community. Sometimes, when the lights go out, it's a good thing. It can be magical. This book is about a family who discovers that magic during one hot summer night in the city.
As a kid growing up in Rhode Island, I remember quite a few blackouts. They were usually caused by lightning or snow storms, and when the lights and television flickered out and plunged our house into darkness it was always exciting. My dad would check the fuse box, and my mom would run around lighting candles while my sister and I would look out the windows to see how far the blackout stretched. I remember one time my mom actually cooked dinner on top of our wood stove!
When I was doing research for this book I interviewed a lot of people about their own experience during the huge blackout of 2003. Occurring only two years after the tragedies of 9/11, I assumed most people would have panicked, and although some did, I was surprised to learn that most people really, truly enjoyed it. Yes, they had to walk home through the oppressive heat, and yes, some didn't even make it home that night, but the people of New York City opened their doors, opened their hearts, let down their hair and celebrated.
I hope you enjoy this book.