A Small Free Kiss in the Dark

180p. 978-0-82342-264-7.
Gr 6-8 Millard's latest offering is a touching story of paradoxesdestruction and beauty, war and love, homelessness and family. Skip is a runaway foster child living on the streets when an explosion overturns the Dumpster in which he is sleeping. War has broken out, and he finds himself in a city of broken buildings and terrified survivors. He and his friend Billy, a resourceful and kindhearted homeless man, attempt to escape the chaos and avoid enemy soldiers by hiding in an abandoned amusement park. Joined by an orphan boy and a teenage mother, they huddle in the House of Horrors while the world collapses around them. Through it all, Skip comforts himself by drawing chalk pictures and thinking about his favorite works of art. He narrates with an artist's attention to detail and rich use of visual metaphor, depicting horrific scenes of bombing and devastation in poetic and surprising language. He finds beauty in everything, particularly in his companions, who become his longed-for surrogate family. Skip's optimism against the apocalyptic background lends the story a haunting quality that is not to be easily forgotten."Emma Burkhart, Springside School, Philadelphia, PA" Copyright 2010 Media Source Inc.
When war breaks out in Australia, eleven-year-old orphan Skip teams up with a homeless man, a young boy, and a teenage mother with her baby. As the world burns around them, their only hope of survival is one another and the tenuous safety of an abandoned amusement park they call home. Millard's narrative voice is compelling.

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