Although the country is at war, terrorists strike at random, and widespread rationing is in effect, thirteen-year-old Sky Brightman is remarkably untouched by it all. She and her family live off the grid on sixty acres of rural New Mexico ranch land with chores to do, horses to ride, and no television or internet to bring disturbing news into their home.
But when a string of mysterious arrests begins and Sky's new friend, Kareem, becomes a target, she is finally forced to confront the world in all its complexity. With courage, ingenuity, and fierce determination, Sky meets injustice head-on and shows the tremendous impact one person can have on her community.
“In this provocative title, award-winning author Stanley asks young readers to consider what courage might look like in an America under psychological and physical siege. The recognizable adult characters, from the truly good to the fearful to the insidiously evil, are drawn straight from today’s headlines, while the young people manifest a courage few can emulate. Readers will have much to discuss . . . beautifully written.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“The main characters are well rendered and likable, and, in her portrayal of the earth-centered, nurturing Brightman family, Stanley succeeds in delivering the message that hope trumps fear.”
-School Library Journal
“This page-turner skillfully captures the irrational fear of a public under siege while giving kids a modern-day, almost-just-like-them female hero who champions hope. Inspiring.”
“This will certainly raise poignant questions about a world that is only very slightly unfamiliar and about the way readers would respond in similar circumstances.”
-Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This thought-provoking novel explores both the frightening power of mob mentality and fear tactics, along with hopeful possibilities offered when individuals take courageous stands for justice.”
Praise for Bella at Midnight:“Once begun, it will be hard to put down.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)