A Wish In The Dark

Christina Soontornvat

Candlewick Press

May 2020

$24.99 AU

378p hc

ISBN: 978-1536204940

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A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat is a fast-paced adventure story set in the fictional town of Chattana, that explores the ideas of justice, power and doing the right thing. Pong, the main character, is born in prison where he spends the first nine years of his life dreaming of the day he will finally be free and able to walk under the lights of Chattana, which he believes ‘shine only on the worthy’. One day he manages to escape and sets out on a journey to find his freedom, but just when Pong thinks he is safe, something happens that drives him all the way back to the place that is most dangerous to him. Here he sees the reality of ‘light shines only on the worthy’ when he meets a group of people struggling under the current system, and decides that something must be done to put it right…

A Wish in the Dark deals with deep themes although they are expressed quite simply, and is easy to read and flows fairly well, so for these reasons I believe it would be well suited to children aged 10-12. So, if you are looking for a fast-paced adventure story full of twists and turns that touches on the ideas of justice, power and doing the right thing, this book is for you.

Polly, age 15

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