cover image The Big Dark

The Big Dark

Rodman Philbrick, read by Michael Crouch. Scholastic Audio, , unabridged, 4 CDs, 4 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-0-545-90929-7

When all electronics turn off unexpectedly in the dead of winter, Charlie finds life becoming quite different and challenging in his rural New Hampshire town. Society does not break down entirely, but new struggles emerge, including Charlie’s search for medicine for his diabetic mother and his encounters with a group of militant extremists aiming to take control of the town and its resources. Reader Crouch has a youthful voice with a light rasp that works really well with Charlie’s voice and inner monologue in this first-person narrative. He captures Charlie’s excitement, fear, and teenage ambivalence quite well. Crouch’s character voices do not always hit the mark, however; many are a bit more caricatured than seems fitting. Ages 8–12. A Scholastic/Blue Sky hardcover. (Jan.)