Khornberger's Reviews > Dark Sons

Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes
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Feb 22, 11

Read in February, 2011

I was given this book to review by my Pennsylvania School Library Association book review committee and I was surprised to love it. The cover art on the paperback copy I was sent was nondescript and didn't stand out (different cover art than what appears with this review). When I flipped through, I saw that it was written in verse and would at least be quick to assess, so I brought it home.

Long story short, I find myself giving it five stars. This little book that appears basic is actually quite moving and inspirational. The book alternates between the story of Ishmael in the Bible and present day Sam. Nikki Grimes begins by presenting Ishmael's struggles as he and his mother are literally sent homeless into the desert by his father. Ishmael's story is then contrasted with Sam's similar story of the the loss of his father to another marriage and son in subsequent chapters. Both boys are feeling lost, angry, and abandoned, however, both find strength and sustenance through God. This novel is written in verse and is flowing with human nature and emotion which is so evidently timeless, themes of religion, betrayal, and survival, and laden with symbolism.

I gave this novel five stars because the timeless human message is an important one - it is rare that we can so easily identify with stories from so long ago, Nikki Grimes really targeted the human aspect of both characters and just as it doesn't matter how long ago Ishmael lived to identify with his story, it also won't matter in twenty years that Sam was "modern day" once the book ages. I also really loved the message of faith that the story gave, while it faith that is based upon religion, it can easily be something that a person of another religious faith can identify with - the identification that while both boys were lost, they were taken care of and able to find it in their hearts to forgive deep betrayals.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Peg (new)

Peg Loved reading your review of this book. Don't know that I want to read it, but it shows me that there are many interesting things being written and available.


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