Long, Susan Hill. Whistle in the Dark. Holiday House, 2013.
Clem wants to go to school and become a writer someday, but in his small town, all the men work in the mine. Clem is disappointed, although not surprised, when he is pulled out of school to begin work in the mine. He finds the mine stifling and wishes he could somehow escape it.
This book reminded me a lot of the movie October Sky, where a kid from a mining town wants to enter a science fair. The tone in this book is similar: Clem dreams of bigger things but is trapped because he needs to help support his family. In Clem's case, though, the explosion in the mine solves the problem for him. This story is a bit bleak, but it is interesting and also likely a realistic portrayal of life in a mining town.
Recommended for: tweens
Red Flags: none
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars