The Nightwalker

Belinda Hurmence, Author Clarion Books $12.95 (140p) ISBN 978-0-89919-732-6
Good atmospheric writing and realistic portrayals of island life on the Outer Banks of North Carolina are the highlights of this mystery, which attemptsand nearly succeedsto merge larger environmental issues with the inner life of a child. Fires have been burning the local fishing shacks nightly, perhaps as part of a protest of the government's attempts to destroy a local way of life, or perhaps set by the spirit of the ``nightwalker,'' subject of an old Indian legend. Savannah, 12, tries not to believe in such things, but she can't help thinking that her sleepwalking little brother Poco is involved in setting the fires when he goes out at night. Family tensions are sharply drawn as Savannah becomes friends with one of the summer people, the same people who are leading the crusade to turn the Outer Banks into a recreational area. When danger strikes, Savannah discovers that sheand not Pocois the sleepwalker. An intriguing, sometimes exciting story is occasionally marred by the confusion of Savannah's narration of her sleepwalking episodes (even while she is unaware of them). And without a resolution of the larger issue of fishing vs. recreational rights, the story loses its impact. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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