Sarah's Stars

Ann Walsh. Dark Times
Ronsdale Press  $9.95  ISBN 1-55380-028-1  166 pg.
Reviewed by Meghan, Age 14

"When someone you love dies by suicide it's like being kicked in the stomach; you can't get your breath. Any part of you that doesn't hurt, is numb." Carolyn Pogue - Snow Angel

"She had come back. Just like that. One moment there was this crazy person sitting next to me, and the next moment my grandmother was back. Suddenly I felt like crying, too." Ann Walsh - All is Calm

In sincere honest words, the stories of thirteen teens that have experienced loss emerge. A cousin with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a grandmother with Alzheimer's, a father having an affair, and a mother who runs away to live her own life, each story touches us in different ways. One moment you’re crying, the next a warm glow envelopes you at the way the characters take heart and face the world.  

In the fourteen years of my life, I've had my share of tragedy. One of the hardest times was last year; I lost my grandfather, a dear neighbour to Alzheimer's and a classmate committed suicide. Reading Dark Times, made me realize that I wasn't the only one out there. Reading others' stories of loss made me feel glad for the things I still have, family, friends, and health. For anyone who has experienced a loss, even if it has been a while, Dark Times is the book to read. You connect with the characters in a way that others can't. You see the similarities, and think 'Hey, I've been there, and felt like that'. It really helps. I would recommend Dark Times for teenagers, ages 13 and up.

I give Dark Times five well-deserved stars out of five.

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