Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 14
- Grade: 5 to 12
Before there were bats like Shade, Marina or even Goth, there was a young chiropter—a small arboreal glider—named Dusk. . . .
It is 65 million years ago, during a cataclysmic moment in the earth’s evolution, and Dusk, just months old, has no way of knowing he will play a pivotal role in creating a new world. What he does know is that he is different from the other newborn chiropters. Not content to use his large sails to glide down from the giant sequoia tree, Dusk discovers that if he flaps quickly enough, he can fly. But this strange gift that makes him feel like an outcast from the colony will also make him its saviour. After most of the colony is savagely massacred by the felids—the earth’s first mammalian carnivores—Dusk must lead his fellow chiropters to a new home, and a new life.
Against a tableau of disappearing dinosaurs and the ascent of the mammal kingdom, Oppel has created an adventure fantasy that sets the stage for the birth of the bats, the story of the forebears of Shade, the beloved hero of the Silverwing series. As with all Silverwing books, it is impossible to simply read Oppel’s Darkwing; each of us enters a world of convincing characters, warring theologies, incredible natural history and a story that roars through head, heart and imagination. A tale that can be read as a stand- lone or as a prequel, Darkwing will be a welcome new classic for the millions of Kenneth Oppel fans.
About the author
KENNETH OPPEL is the author of numerous books for young readers. His award-winning Silverwing trilogy has sold over a million copies worldwide and was adapted into an animated TV series and stage play. Airborn won a Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award and the Governor General’s Literary Award; its sequel, Skybreaker, was a New York Times bestseller and was named Children’s Novel of the Year by The Times (London). He is also the author of Half Brother, This Dark Endeavor, Such Wicked Intent and The Boundless. Born on Vancouver Island, he has lived in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, and in England and Ireland, and now resides in Toronto with his wife and children.
JON KLASSEN is the author-illustrator of This Is Not My Hat, winner of the Caldecott Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal, and I Want My Hat Back, a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book. He is also the illustrator of Cats' Night Out, which won the Governor General’s Award; The Dark, a finalist for the same award; House Held Up by Trees, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book; Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book; and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, also a Caldecott Honor Book. He created the concept art for Coraline, the stop-motion animated film based on the book by Neil Gaiman. Originally from Niagara Falls, he now lives in Los Angeles.
DarkwingDusk isn’t like other chiropters. He looks different and is mostly interested in spying on birds. One day, Dusk discovers something strange — a creature thought to be extinct — and the battle for survival begins. Includes illustrations.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.