A Blog of Children's Literature

The White Darkness April 13, 2011

Filed under: Adventure and Fantasy — akibird @ 3:55 pm
Tags: , ,

The White DarknessThe White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean (2006)

Adventure, 369 pages

14-year-old Symone is fine, despite the fact that her father has just died, she has few friends, and her disability has made her somewhat socially awkward. Sym gets through life with the help of “Titus” Oates, once a great traveler of Sym’s passion, Antarctica. Dead for over 100 years, Titus is now a voice in Sym’s head, her own creation, representing everything she wants in a man and best friend. Besides Titus, Sym’s Uncle Victor has been very supportive through the grieving process and has even paid for the funeral for her father. Sym has so much confidence in her Uncle Victor, that she does not doubt him when he suggests traveling to Paris and then south to Antarctica without telling her mother. Through her sheltered experience, Sym only sees a genius uncle who has devoted much of his life to science and the discovery of Symmes’ Hole, a crack in the earth’s crust that Victor believes opens onto a world hidden under our own full of its own inhabitants and life. In this quest for amazing discovery, Uncle Victor’s guise of genius slowly slips away to insanity as Sym realizes this and other disturbing facts about her uncle. Now deep within the heart of Antarctica and left in extreme conditions, Sym must learn to stop believing what Uncle Victor tells her and start believing herself and Titus in order to attempt to make it out alive. With interesting psychological elements both within Sym’s narration and Victor’s behavior, McCaughrean creates characters in desperate need of help who get entangled in their own dreams that lead to disaster. I would recommend The White Darkness to older teens who love extreme adventure and stories that unfurl mysteries and origins of pain.


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