Draw the Dark - Ilsa J. Bick
Christian Cage is a troubled young man. At 17-years-old he has had more than his share of tragedies. Both of his parents disappeared when he was a little boy, his first-grade teacher attempted suicide because of him (people say), and now he is suffering from intensely, vivid dreams of the past that cause him to sleepwalk. Dreams that take him back to 1945 in Winter, Wisconsin, his hometown. Dreams that lead him to the truth about a murder that no one in town wants to talk about. Not only does Winter have its secrets, but Christian has his own to keep. His art has power. He doesn’t just draw pictures; he draws the thoughts of those around him - their deepest fears and nightmares come alive on his paper. He also thinks he can use his art to find his parents. He obsessively paints his bedroom walls with scenes from “the sideways place” where he knows his parents have gone. All he needs to do is paint the doorknob so he can walk through and explore the terrors that await him on the other side. The new dreams keep stopping him though. Winter’s secret is fighting to get out and using Christian to do it.Draw the Dark is a complex story that weaves current day mysteries with historical events. Ilsa Bick used a little known fact of America’s involvement in World War II to build this story. Joshua Swanson masterfully captures the emotions of Christian as he is torn by the decision to maintain his reality in Winter or give in to the pull of “the sideways place.”