Shortlisted for the Edgar Award for Best Mystery
“Mystery lovers will be satisfied by the plot and adults will love the curriculum and social awareness tie-ins.” —School Library Journal
Eleven-year-old Luis is left looking for answers after a city-wide blackout leads him to an electrifying mystery in this edge-of-your-seat thriller from Martha Freeman.
Luis Cardenal is toasting a Pop-Tart when a power outage strikes Hampton, New Jersey. Elevators and gas pumps fail right away; soon cell phones die and grocery shelves empty. Cold and in the dark, people begin to get desperate.
Luis likes to know how things work, and the blackout gets him wondering: Where does the city’s electricity come from? What would cause it to shut down?
No one seems to have answers, and rumors are flying. Then a slip of the tongue gives Luis and his ex-best friend Maura a clue. Brushed off by the busy police, the two sixth graders determine they are on their own. To get to the bottom of the mystery, they know they need to brave the abandoned houses of Luis’s poor neighborhood and find the homeless teen legend known as Computer Genius. What they don’t know is that someone suspects they know too much, someone who wants to keep Hampton in the dark.
In this highly charged mystery, two can-do sleuths embark on a high-tech urban adventure to answer an age-old question: Who turned out the lights?