Form and Content

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

Somewhere in the Darkness revolves around both a literal and a psychological journey for fourteen-year-old Jimmy Little and his father, Crab. In the last days of his life, Jimmy’s father searches in desperation for what has been missing in his life, a closer relationship with his son. He also attempts to regain a sense of self-respect by using his last days to attempt to clear his name in the crime for which he was convicted, in the hopes that at least Jimmy will have proof of his innocence. Crab assumes that both objectives can be accomplished by taking Jimmy with him on a journey from New York to Chicago and finally back to Crab’s hometown of Marion, Arkansas, where Rydell Depuis, the man who probably committed the crime, could tell Jimmy the truth. The novel unfolds through a third-person point of view told from Jimmy’s perspective as he alternately pities and hates the man who claims to be his father but with whom he has never had a close relationship. Gradually, the reader, along with Jimmy, begins to understand Crab.

Crab reenters Jimmy’s life at a time of uncertainty for the young man. Jimmy feels both physical and mental exhaustion as he copes with academic and personal troubles during his sophomore year of high school. He is intelligent, but his grades are slipping, and he has begun to cut class and to make excuses. His peers refuse to take personal responsibility for their actions, and Jimmy is beginning to be like them. “I...

(The entire section is 602 words.)

Somewhere in the Darkness Bibliography

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

Bishop, Rudine Sims. Presenting Walter Dean Myers. Boston: Twayne, 1990.

Burshtein, Karen. Walter Dean Myers. New York: Rosen, 2004.

Jordan, Denise M. Walter Dean Myers: Writer for Real Teens. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow, 1999.

McElmeel, Sharron L. “A Profile: Walter Dean Myers. Book Report 20, no. 2 (September/October, 2001): 42-45.

Smith, Amanda. “Walter Dean Myers.” Publishers Weekly 239, nos. 32/33 (July 20, 1992): 217-218.