Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Review: Shot in the Dark

Publish April 9, 2015

Micah is in Grade 8. He has a crush on the girl that sits beside him in art class, he loves sports, and he doesn’t like his parents interfering in his life. But there’s one thing that sets him apart from other boys his age, Micah has uveitis, an eye disease that is slowly depriving him of his sight. Shot in the Dark, by Janet M. Whyte, is one of Lorimer’s Sport Stories, a series geared to reluctant readers, featuring characters from diverse backgrounds who face challenges on a number of levels. Micah’s particular struggle is to try and make his life as normal as possible, while coping with the degenerating symptoms of his disease and the life changes that come with it. His parents want him to have a guide dog, but he is afraid that it might limit his freedom. Micah’s passion is playing goalball, a game designed for visually impaired players, but his frustration with his condition starts to affect his relationships with the other members of the team. While the beginning of the book is confusing, because Whyte doesn’t give us the full picture of Micah’s disease until after Chapter Four, his story is engaging and his character is realistically drawn—his reluctance to alert his hovering parents when his condition gets worse rings very true for this age group. And the book serves as an excellent introduction to goalball, an ingenious game with a ball that has bells inside so the players can hear where it is. Although some of Micah’s problems are related to his difficulties with seeing, many of his daily struggles involve issues familiar to young readers: gaining independence from his parents, controlling his anger, and making friends. Shot in the Dark is a well-researched, insightful book.  

Shot in the Dark

Janet M. Whyte
Lorimer
ISBN 13: 978-1-4594-085-0