- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (November 8, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1484708342
- ISBN-13: 978-1484708347
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Race the Night Hardcover – November 8, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—The world has ended. All that's left is the remote desert compound where 12-year-old Eider and four other children live under the stern rule of Teacher, whose tales of the cataclysm and dangers of the outside world keep the children isolated and afraid to question what they've been told. Eider's growing sense of "something out there…something more" emboldens her to venture beyond the compound walls, discovering traces of humanity and hope. Like its companion novel Watch the Sky, this title includes a stark desert setting, apocalyptic paranoia, and sincere but delusional adults who use fear as a weapon of control. Hubbard waits until the final pages to link the two stories: when they do intersect, fans of the first book will be rocked. Readers unfamiliar with Watch the Sky will still enjoy an emotionally satisfying—if a bit convenient—resolution. Hubbard's evocative language conveys the tension: a character's hair is "so pale it looked like the color had been frightened out of it." The four children who make up Eider's compound family tug at readers' hearts as they struggle to gain the courage to challenge their limited world. Eider is an engaging protagonist, journeying from oppression to liberation, buoyed by the faith that she may still have something the other children do not: a sibling. VERDICT The end of one world is the beginning of another in this moving tale of resilience, hope, and the meaning of family. A unique and well-written addition for medium to large middle grade collections.—Marybeth Kozikowski, Sachem Public Library, Holbrook, NY
"The eerie atmosphere and intelligent, determined kid characters will appeal to plenty of readers."―Booklist
* "The end of one world is the beginning of another in this moving tale of resilience, hope, and the meaning of family."―School Library Journal (starred review)
"Clues of a world beyond creep in and out of the narrative as easily as half-remembered dreams, keeping the reader as hesitant and suspicious as the children themselves...similar to that in The Giver.... [Hubbard] draws the suspense out until the very last page. This is a good recommendation for young fans of Margaret Peterson Haddix or Suzanne Collins."―BookPage
"Hubbard keeps pages turning with careful pacing of the revelations about Eider's world and ever increasing clues that Teacher may not be telling the truth... A claustrophobic survival tale that will keep readers guessing."―Kirkus Reviews
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Top customer reviews
But the students start to question Teacher and her methods when she has them work and practice mind-reading/ESP. The young girl, Eider, seems particularly curious and her curiosity only grows stronger when she meets a man hiking in the desert. At their own pace, each student begins to have questions, and the strange, doom-forecasting words heard over the static on the radio challenge what they think they know. Ultimately, Eider, Jay, Finch, and Avis will have to make some discoveries for themselves instead of relying on Teacher.
Author Kirsten Hubbard does a really nice job of capturing and conveying the dark, uncertain world in which the students live. We can't help but wonder where we are and everything we believe about the world, just as the children believe, seems to be turned on its side. A big portion of this tone-setting is Hubbard's beautiful way with words.
But once you step back from the flow of words and the tone of the book and look at the story itself, we flounder a bit. There's not really much here and what there is offers more questions than answers.
I like books that have me question, but I like the answers to come along eventually to confirm what I was expecting or to change/surprise me. But this offers no such resolution. In many ways this book is reminiscent of Lois Lowry's <em>The Giver</em>, but I don't expect Hubbard's book will achieve the same fame or recognition and hence the unanswered questions become annoying rather than a classroom discussion point.
Looking for a good book? There's much to like here with Kirsten Hubbard's <em>Race the Night</em> but at the same time, it withholds just enough to not be satisfying.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.