Synopsis : Draw the Dark - Ilsa J. Bick - October 2010
Christian Cage's mother and father disappeared from the small town of Winter, WI, long ago, leaving him with his pragmatic Uncle Hank, the town sheriff. Clues left behind by his mother have led Christian to believe that his parents are both trapped in “the sideways place” and unable to return home. An outcast at school because of the belief that he caused the near-suicide of his first-grade teacher years earlier, the 17-year-old spends his spare time obsessively drawing images of the sideways place. As the novel opens, he discovers that in his sleep he has painted swastikas on a prominent citizen's barn. Soon after, he begins to have waking nightmares in which he sees a violent incident from the past through the eyes of a young Jewish boy. Frightened and bewildered, Christian researches Winter's history for an explanation, unearthing long-forgotten World War II-era events involving a camp for German prisoners of war. He also searches for answers about his growing ability to draw the thoughts and nightmares of those around him. Bick has created a likable teen protagonist whose unique ability is completely believable in the author's skilled hands. The novel brilliantly strikes a compelling balance between fantasy and contemporary fiction. Readers will be on the edge of their seats waiting to find out what happens next and will clamor for a sequel to follow Christian into the sideways place.