Rarely - almost never- does a book ever move me to tears. Saving Sky by Diane Stanley is one book that has managed to do just that. As I was reading I had such a sense of what a powerful, thought provoking story this was. All of which culminated into a powerful, perfect ending.
I am not an overly adventurous reader- science fiction and fantasy don't do it for me very often, and I don't think I have ever read anything termed 'dystopian.' I am not sure Saving Sky would receive that label, but it seems to fit the definition I looked up.
The utopia and its offshoot, the dystopia, are genres of literature that explore social and political structures. Utopian fiction is the creation of an ideal world, or utopia, as the setting for a novel. Dystopian fiction is the opposite: creation of a nightmare world, or dystopia. ...
Sky and her family live in New Mexico without many modern conveniences like internet or television. They receive their news from their aunt Pat, who telephones if there are things they need to know. The United States is undergoing repeated terrorist attacks and Sky and her family, as well as everyone else, are affected by these attacks which have resulted in shortages of food and electricity. These terrorist attacks have also caused many Americans to view Arabs as dangerous - believing that many of the terrorists are Arabs. Sky witnesses firsthand the racism on a shopping trip to Home Depot as an Arab family is taken away by security after doing nothing wrong. Sky's lack of action to defend this family bothers her. She wishes she had the courage to step forward and do something. Then, when an Arab student, Kareem, needs her help after his father is arrested and taken away to a deportation camp, Sky knows this is her chance to step forward.
Stanley's novel offers a great deal to think about. This is a powerful look at what a future world could look like - a very scary reality. It is also a powerful story of a family still bound to do the right thing and recognize everyone as a human being. I was shocked during my reading as Arabs were taken away to deportation centers for doing nothing more than being dark skinned, and was quickly reminded of the United States' treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
This was a novel that I didn't want to put down at all, even though the story was disturbing. I can't believe I am not hearing more about this book, because I the writing was superb and the story was one that I won't forget. Honestly, while I was reading I had this vision of Rebecca Stead's novel, When You Reach Me, a book that gave me the same wonderful feeling when I read it a year ago. When You Reach Me went on to win the Newbery Award, so I am hoping that Saving Sky is also recognized for the treasure that it is.