Dark Sons

Sunday, October 3, 2010
“He calls himself my father. So why is he sending me away?” 
“He’s supposed to be my dad. What is he thinking leaving Mom in the first place?”

Book: Dark Sons by Nikki Grimes, Hyperion Books For Children, 2005

Genre: Historical Fiction/Poetry
Target Audience: Boys 12-18 primarily, but really, anyone over 12.
Subjects: Relationship with parents, divorce, siblings
Summary: Ishmael from the Bible and Sam from a modern day time share the same problem: fathers that won’t continue to father them. Ishmael is sent away when his little brother Isaac comes, Sam’s dad leaves his family when another woman becomes more attractive to him. Both wrestle with the questions of where God is and how He can claim to care when He has left them with fathers who care more about others than them.
Notes: This book is extremely creative!! First of all, the very idea of it: writing a story about Ishmael. We all know the stories of Isaac, but what about that son in the background, the one that was passed over in favor of Isaac. How must he have felt? Second, comparing the Biblical story to a story that is all too common in our times today, makes the Biblical story come to life and so easy to relate to. Lastly, the form it took: poetry. Each boy, particularly Ishmael writes in poems as they pour out their frustration and hurt and anger at their fathers and at the God who proves to be the Father they can continue to turn to when their earthly fathers abandon them.
Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi
Matthew 28:20 – And I will be with You always, even to the end of the age.


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