Book: Going Where It’s Dark
Author: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Rating: 3 Stars
Basic plot: When Buck’s friend David moves away, he also loses his “caving” buddy. Now he starts to explore “caves” on his own. While he knows the danger, he keeps this a secret from his family. But that’s not the only secret.
1) Buck’s a likeable kid. I felt Naylor captures quite well how he deals with his stutter and the bullies, etc.
2) I like Uncle Mel and how he fits into the story. He’s sympathetic to Buck and definitely a good role model. His absences due to his trucking job also allow for Buck to be able to keep some of his “secrets” from him.
3) The military approach by Jacob Wall to Buck’s stuttering problem… I found this fascinating. And to make it even more cool is that this approach seems to be based on how Naylor’s husband himself helped with people who stuttered. (This reaction is possibly due to the teacher coming out in me.)
4) I like how the theft at the sawmill is linked to… well, I won’t spoil it for you.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) I was not convinced that Katie was Buck’s twin. They don’t seem to be twins. Period. She seems more like an older sister. I can’t really put my finger on it.
2) The cave parts. I think I might be a tiny bit claustrophobic, because any book that deals with people climbing through holes under ground makes me want to skim. And yes, I did skim the underground parts. This is not really a fault of this particular book, but just my personal reaction to small caves and being trapped underground.
3) The ending seemed a little abrupt to me. It felt like there should be another chapter. I’m not sure why, because Naylor has pretty much tied up all the plot strands. It just seemed like there should be more.
My rating is 3 Stars (out of 5) – While not my favourite of Naylor’s books, I did enjoy the stuttering plot-line. Again, this is probably a personal preference on my end.