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Summer 2011 Kids' Next List
“A normal, busy night in the big city becomes something beautiful when all the lights go out. A young girl just wants someone to play a game with her, but her family members have other things to do. Disappointed, she sits down to play video games, but is surprised when the power all over the city goes out. The whole city becomes still, and her family finds ways to entertain themselves -- together. This wonderfully illustrated story focuses on spending time together as a family and knowing when it's alright to simply slow down and enjoy life!”
— Amanda Snow, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA
One hot summer night in the city, all the power goes out. The TV shuts off and a boy wails, "Mommm!" His sister can no longer use the phone, Mom can't work on her computer, and Dad can't finish cooking dinner. What's a family to do? When they go up to the roof to escape the heat, they find the lights -- in stars that can be seen for a change -- and so many neighbors it's like a block party in the sky! On the street below, people are having just as much fun -- talking, rollerblading, and eating ice cream before it melts. The boy and his family enjoy being not so busy for once. They even have time to play a board game together. When the electricity is restored, everything can go back to normal . . . but not everyone likes normal. The boy switches off the lights, and out comes the board game again. Using a combination of panels and full bleed illustrations that move from color to black-and-white and back to color, John Rocco shows that if we are willing to put our cares aside for a while, there is party potential in a summer blackout.
About the Author
John Rocco is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of many acclaimed books for children, including Wolf! Wolf!, winner of the Borders Original Voices Award for best picture book; Moonpowder; Blizzard, and Blackout, a winner of the Caldecott Honor.
Rocco also illustrated Whoopi Goldberg's Alice and the covers for Rick Riordan's internationally bestselling series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles,The Heroes of Olympus and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. He also was the illustrator for both #1 New York Times bestsellers Percy Jackson's Greek Gods and Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes. Most recently, Rocco's his first Young Adult novel, Swim That Rock, was a finalist for the New England Book Award.