A 2012 Caldecott Honor Book

Written and Illustrated by John Rocco

This book gives a fun but slightly idealized account of one family’s discovery of simple pleasures and time together during a blackout in Brooklyn. A girl is trying to find someone in the family to play a board game with, but everyone is too “busy.” When the power goes out all the busy-ness breaks down, the phone stops working, and the AC goes out. The family and others in the neighborhood discover the fun things they can do together that don’t involve electricity, such as going out on the roof and looking at the stars, playing in the street with flashlights, or finally gathering around to play that board game by candlelight.

Many of the pages are split into comic book frames, and one must follow the pictures closely to appreciate most of the details of the story. The illustrations are extremely evocative of the urban residential setting, and make it feel like an exciting neighborhood to live in. It is refreshing to see a picture book set in such a contemporary, real-life, specific location. This is a good book that illustrates the value in occasionally disconnecting and spending pure social and creative time with family and friends.

Review by Joshua Whiting, Granite Library Media Program
Interest Level: Grades K-4

Written and Illustrated by John Rocco
Disney/Hyperion Books
40 pages
Release Date: May 24, 2011
ISBN: 9781423121909 (hardcover)

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7 thoughts on “Blackout”

    1. Thanks for the Tar Beach mention. I’m not familiar with it and I will need to check it out. I have a someday goal of reading all the Caldecotts, but I haven’t started working my way through them yet.

  1. I have a copy of this book to give away. Leave a comment on this post before May 25, 2012 for a chance to win.

    (Dian, you are automatically entered in the drawing.)

  2. I love this book! It is just like being in a backout. When my kids were little we lived in an area that had lots of blackouts and we would have so much fun. This book brought back those memories. I would love a copy for our library!

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