How will you remember the Covid shutdown? Months of being at home, news reports of deaths, school conducted online. How did it affect you? Your family? Friends? How did our children get through these dark months?
Nikki Grimes has written a middle grade verse novel about her fan-beloved Garvey, a young boy who connected at last with his father in Garvey’s Choice. In this story, Garvey and his family do their best to adapt to each new wrinkle of the pandemic.
Garvey’s parents work as an elementary school teacher and a wi-fi installer, both essential jobs during the shutdown.
Garvey can no longer participate in his soul-soaring choir, or hang around with his friends, or check new books out of the library. His guitar lessons with his dad stop because his father is busy trying to help people be connected to the world through wi-fi.
Garvey’s older sister, involved in many sports, is home with only individual practice and training to give her the action she craves.
Everyone around him is changing, worried, over-worked, doing their best to tame The Invisible Beast. And then COVID strikes inside Garvey’s home.
“When COVID’s over,
will I get my young mom back?
Will Dad and I play
music again? Ugh! I’ve got
to stop drowning in questions!”
This is an important book. Young readers will recognize their own experiences. Adult readers will find touchstones for their worries and cares.
With her usual positive and hopeful storytelling, Nikki Grimes reminds us that lives changed during the Covid pandemic, affecting many people in many different ways. Garvey’s story will resonate deeply with readers of all ages.
Garvey in the Dark
written by Nikki Grimes
Wordsong, October 2022