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A Wish in the Dark (2020)

by Christina Soontornvat

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4072562,924 (4.26)14
Fantasy. Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. Mythology. HTML:

A boy on the run. A girl determined to find him. A compelling fantasy looks at issues of privilege, protest, and justice.

All light in Chattana is created by one man â?? the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong's prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free.

Nok, the prison warden's perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family's good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear. Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, Christina Soontornvat's twist on Victor Hugo's Les Misérables is a dazzling, fast-paced adventure that explores the difference between law and justice â?? and asks whether one child can shine a light in the da… (more)

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» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Gr 4 Up—Pong escapes the prison where he was born in search of meaning and a chance to be near the Governor,
the creator of all the light in the kingdom. He is relentlessly pursued by Nok, a young woman bent on bringing Pong
to justice, but the further the chase goes, the more they each discover injustice all around them. Soontornvat
transforms the timeless tale of Les Misérables into a Thai-inspired fantasy addressing equality, bravery, and how to
find one's own path amid cultural expectations.
  BackstoryBooks | Apr 2, 2024 |
This book was about two young boys who spark a revolution in their dystopian world.This book would be a suitable read for advanced 3rd graders (it's pretty long) to lower 5th or 6th graders (it is easy to comprehend). I would use it as an option for book club in my classroom. It's a nice book that could be a great introduction to the distopian/sci-fi genre, but it is incredibly basic and elaborative to the level that I, as a 20-year-old reader found it rather cheesy, even cringe-wothy at times. However, I think this would be a good novel for advanced 3rd-5th/6th graders to work on. It's super easy to read and comprehend, and it would make them feel really good when they read over 350 pages. ( )
  mmulvany22 | Mar 4, 2024 |
It seems like a Les Mis retelling should not be so damn relevant, but here we are.... ( )
  mslibrarynerd | Jan 13, 2024 |
Another great Middle Grade Adventure Fantasy from Christina Soontornvat.
Pong, a child born in a prison, and Nok, the child of the prison warden, live in different worlds, as do much of this society. When their lives intersect, lots of conflict and change result. ( )
  deslivres5 | May 4, 2023 |
Look no further for a reminder of the beauty of story and why you love reading. A truly wonderful tale that does not hesitate to discuss oppression and challenge authority; where friendship and courage help us find the light within us all. ( )
  agentshellfish | Nov 9, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christina Soontornvatprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jung, GretaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Fantasy. Juvenile Fiction. Juvenile Literature. Mythology. HTML:

A boy on the run. A girl determined to find him. A compelling fantasy looks at issues of privilege, protest, and justice.

All light in Chattana is created by one man â?? the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong's prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free.

Nok, the prison warden's perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family's good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear. Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, Christina Soontornvat's twist on Victor Hugo's Les Misérables is a dazzling, fast-paced adventure that explores the difference between law and justice â?? and asks whether one child can shine a light in the da

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