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Parents' Guide to

The White Darkness

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Dark Antarctic survival story. Overlong but fascinating.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

Strange, but exciting too.

Parents need to know that there is some hefty stuff in here. Two teens discuss a man that has poisoned two other men, and who may poison them. Teens are in many perilous situations. A man suggests that two teenagers have sex. A man commmits suicide after leaving another man to die of exposure. There is some language, but is't nothing more than what your average teen already knows. Altogether, it is an adventurous (but confusing) slightly mature book. Okay for 13+.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

The subject matter -- Antarctica -- is one to inspire flights of poetry, but the author's lyrical descriptions are a bit overdone. It's a pity too, because the less experienced or impatient readers may be put off and give up, and they will miss out on an exciting 200-page survival story hidden within this nearly 400-page book.

It takes a while to get to Antarctica, and in the meantime readers may also be annoyed by Symone, whose blind faith in the first part of the book strains credulity. When Victor takes her to Paris, he leaves her mother behind even though she was supposed to accompany them. A sensible girl, which she is supposed to be, might have gotten suspicious, especially when she finds her mother's passport in his pocket. And what about when he suggests that they take an unplanned jaunt off to Antarctica, and says her mother won't mind? And so on. News of the depths of his duplicity later in the book come as revelations to Sym, but the reader will have seen them coming a long way off. Even so, readers willing to accept her foolishness will root for Symone -- a hearing-impaired 14-year old -- who fights to survive in incredible conditions in this unusual story.

Book Details

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