Diane Stanley, Caldecott writer and illustrator, is known for her amusing fairytale re-tellings (Rumpelstiltskin’s Daughter) or her unique picture book biographies with their well-researched text and enticing detailed paintings (Cleopatra and Bard of Avon). Here in her new novel she is doing something completely different, important, and accessible. Saving Sky is an adventure/survival story for 4th–7th grade readers. Sky Brightman’s family is living an upscale, off-the-grid lifestyle on a large ranch in New Mexico. The time frame of this story is tomorrow, or maybe later today. The family hunkers down as the country is experiencing sporadic, but increasingly frequent, attacks. There are many Red Alert days. Food and fuel shortages are becoming commonplace. Sky’s is a loving family, their self-sufficient ranch, an oasis. This part of the novel is quite familiar, even comfortable, the way it is in books where someone else is going through hardships but you’re pretty sure it will be okay. It is less comfortable when Sky’s seventh grade classmate, Kareem, is arrested with his parents at Home Depot as Homeland Security starts ‘detaining’ anyone of Middle Eastern descent. Sky, brave and hopeful, stands up for what she knows is right, giving us a hero we can root for.— Ga, Children's Book Buyer
The country is at war, terrorists strike at random, widespread rationing is in effect, and the power grid is down. But thirteen-year-old Sky Brightman is remarkably untouched by it all. She lives off the grid on sixty acres of rural New Mexico ranch land with chores to do and horses to ride and no television or internet to bring disturbing news into her family's adobe house. Sky's schoolmates think she's a little weird.
Then a string of mysterious arrests begins, and her new friend, Kareem, becomes a target. Sky is finally forced to confront the world in all its complexity. Summoning her considerable courage and ingenuity, she takes a stand against injustice. With humor, hope, and fierce determination, she proves that even a child can change the world.
Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including The Silver Bowl, which received three starred reviews, was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and Book Links Lasting Connections, and was an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Cup and the Crown; Saving Sky, winner of the Arab American Museum's Arab American Book Award and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart. Well known as the author and illustrator of award-winning picture-book biographies, she is the recipient of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children and the Washington Post-Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her body of work.
Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales: The Giant and the Beanstalk, Goldie and the Three Bears, and Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. dianestanleybooks.com.