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A Wish in the Dark

A Wish in the Dark

By Christina Soontornvat

Paperback

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A 2021 Newbery Honor Book

A boy on the run. A girl determined to find him. A compelling fantasy looks at issues of privilege, protest, and justice.


All light in Chattana is created by one man — the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong’s prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free.

Nok, the prison warden’s perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family’s good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear. Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, Christina Soontornvat’s twist on Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables is a dazzling, fast-paced adventure that explores the difference between law and justice — and asks whether one child can shine a light in the dark.

About the contributor(s)

Christina Soontornvat grew up in a small Texas town, where she spent many childhood days behind the counter of her parents’ Thai restaurant with her nose in a book. She is the author of many books for young readers, including The Last Mapmaker, a Newbery Honor Book as well as a Walter Dean Myers Honor Book for Teen Readers. She is also the author of the Newbery Honor Books A Wish in the Dark and All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team, also a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book and a YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults finalist. Christina Soontornvat lives in Austin, Texas.

Book details

ISBN: 9781536222975
Publisher: Candlewick
Date published:
Page count: 384
Categories: Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic, Juvenile Fiction / Places / Asia, and Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Poverty & Homelessness
Ages: 8 to 12

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