Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Garvey in the Dark

Grimes, Niki. Garvey in the Dark
October 4th 2022 by Wordsong
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

In this sequel to Garvey's Choice, Garvey and his family have to deal with the events of March 2020 and the early Pandemic. Garvey has finally made some peace with his father, who is super interested in sports, and connected with him over music, since Garvey is not interested in sports, but would rather write or sing. His sister Angie is on a volleyball team and loves to run and play soccer. When his mother comes home with a ton of her school supplies and tells the children that school has been canceled, they aren't quite sure what she means, even though there has been some talk about a disease making its rounds. When the governor of California shuts down all the schools, Garvey and his mother go the grocery store, and things at home change in the ways they did for many of us. School goes online, but since his father installs WiFi in people's houses, he is considered essential and continues to work. Late in the school year the murder of George Floyd rocks the world, and Garvey and his friend Manny want to protest, but are concerned about COVID. Both Manny's grandmother and Garvey's father get the disease, adding to their stress. Will Garvey be able to retain the connection with his father through all of the turmoil of 2020?
Strengths: Grimes does a great job of writing tanakas and using them to tell Garvey's story in an actually poetic way. The details about 2020 will ring true to middle grade readers for whom two years ago seems like a long time. A lot of different threads are woven together well, and seeing each family member, as well as Manny, deal with COVID and other struggles of the time in different ways is illuminating. 
Weaknesses: Readers who don't remember the pandemic would benefit from more details about schooling from home, etc. to help this make sense. And yes, I would classify any books about the COVID pandemic lockdown as historical fiction!
What I really think: This is a good pandemic novel if you want another title to go along with Walters' Don't Stand So Close to Me and Yang's New From Here.  

Ms. Yingling

No comments:

Post a Comment