#1071 – Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard

racethenight Race the Night
Written by Kirsten Hubbard
Disney • Hyperion  11/16/2016
288 pages     Ages 8—12

“Without you, there’s be no hope for the world.
Because you are the whole word now.

“That’s what teacher says, and twelve-year-old Eider knows she’s right. The world ended long ago, and the desert ranch is the only thing left. Still, Eider’s thoughts keep wandering Beyond the fence. Beyond the pleated earth and scraggly brush and tedious daily lessons. Eider can’t help wishing for something more—like the stories in the fairy-tale book she hides in the storage room. Like the secret papers she collects from the world Before. Like her little sister who never really existed.

“When teacher announces a new kind of lesson, Eider and the other kids are confused. Teacher says she needs to test their specialness—the reason they were saved from the end of the world. But seeing in the dark? Reading minds? As the kids struggle to complete Teacher’s challenges they also start to ask questions,. Questions about their life on the desert ranch, about Before and Beyond, about everything Teacher has told them. But the thing about questions—they can be dangerous.” [INSIDE JACKET]

[WC 429]
Eider, Finch, Linnet, Jay, and Avis live in a desolate desert ranch with Teacher and Nurse. The kids have been told the world ended and they are all that is left, saved because they are special. Teacher is grooming them to lead a new world. The kids have been with Teacher since they were very little, which is why they don’t ask some obvious questions. Like, if they are all that is left, who will they lead?

Hubbard sets the stage with a trip to the ocean. Teacher wants Eider to see the dead ocean. Readers also see this dead ocean and its meaning—the world as we knew it is gone, dead and dried up. Just like Teacher had said. This opening scene sets the story. Now hooked, readers will want to know more about the children’s lives. Hubbard weaves in clues to help Eider—and the reader—figure out this new world, this Teacher, and these five special children.

I really liked Race the Night and think middle grade kids—and “middle grade adults”—will like this apocalyptic story. There are several mysteries folded into the story like a master cake recipe. While all the children are important to the story, Eider and Teacher are the story. Eider is a sweet character. She has endured the most at the range, including the loss of a sister—or an imaginary friend. (The other kids never saw another child at the ranch.)

Hubbard’s Teacher is difficult to explain without revealing story. Consider this: Race the Night will NOT disappoint those readers who like mysteries or hero stories. Eider is a wonderful hero. She never gives up; fighting her antagonist with determination and inner strength. Teacher is just as determined; never considering her children would rebel. Because the children are young when Teacher gets custody, she believes the children will unquestioningly follow her. The other children have this blind faith. A child like Eider, still thinking for herself and questioning, Teacher never anticipated. Eider does waver, but her questions and fears of Teacher lying make her the central force in Race for the Night.

The ending is good, but leaves many questions. Why did this “teacher” and “nurse” set up this ranch? What was their end game? The children are well-developed characters, but who are the adults? Why, this is the biggest question left unanswered. I hope this is a series of at least two books. Race the Night is a strong, well-written story. Each page demands you turn it. Despite my questions, Race the Night stays on my mind. I think about the characters and those unanswered questions. This stickiness only comes from a wonderful story.
.        .            .            .         .         .          .          .          .≈≈≈≈§§≈≈≈≈
**Race the Night is the companion book to last year’s Watch the Sky. I just ordered this and will review it soon. But I do know the two stories are connected and the ending makes better sense to those who’ve read Watch the Sky before Race the Night. Each title can stand alone.

RACE THE NIGHT. Text copyright © 2016 by Kirsten Hubbard. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Disney • Hyperion, New York, NY.

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Add Race the Night to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.

Copyright © 2017 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Race the Night
Written by Kirsten Hubbard
Disney • Hyperion 11/16/2016


6 thoughts on “#1071 – Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard

  1. This sounds like an engaging read. I had a lot of questions and wondered too if the children were taken. If they are to save the world and there isn’t anyone else around, then are they saving themselves?

    How do you manage to read and review so many books daily? You’re impressive. I only review twice a week, and that takes my time. You certainly have your reviewing skills down to a fine art.


    • Thanks, Patricia. I guess the biggest reason is I have the time. I have lupus and it causes quite a stir, and keeps me homebound. (And why a day or two may go without a review). I use a template I made so I can plug in names and titles. (Which is why I kept missing PPBF – now I have those days marked off). September to January is always a big season, with school restarting and buying books for the library. I think publishers release more in the Fall. But . . .

      Honestly, the one who reads a lot and amazes me with the number of reviews each year is Erik. He is reading mostly middle grade and probably getting into young adult now. He must read in his sleep. Erik is amazing. You’re right about the time. It takes quite a bit when you factor in reading and writing, then posting.

      Liked by 1 person

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