Books: City of Light, City of Dark
Many of you might know Avi from his Newberry Award winners, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and Nothing But the Truth. He is a fairly prolific and well-respected author of "children's books." My favorite Avi book, though, is City of Light, City of Dark.
"To begin with - there were Kurbs." These Kurbs are shadowy entities that secretly control the island of Manhatten. Every year a ritual must be performed to appease them, or they will freeze the city. This book is about one year's ritual, in which a very ordinary girl and a very ordinary boy embark on an incredible adventure through New York City.
Unlike other "graphic novels" that merely amp up the violence and sex found in weekly comics, this is truly a "comic-book novel" - it has the emotional depth and strength of plot that have made Avi such an accomplished author. Brian Floca's black-and-white art is sometimes spare, sometimes lush, but always evocative. If you've ever been to NYC in winter, this is what it feels like.
I bought this book many, many years ago back in elementary school, and it still holds up well today. Very few stories in any medium can claim that. This is a highly recommended read, for kids and kids-at-heart alike.