John Rocco Blackout

ISBN 13: 9781423121909

Blackout

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One hot summer night in the city, all the power goes out. The TV shuts off and a boy wails, "Mommm!" His sister can no longer use the phone, Mom can't work on her computer, and Dad can't finish cooking dinner. What's a family to do? When they go up to the roof to escape the heat, they find the lights--in stars that can be seen for a change--and so many neighbors it's like a block party in the sky! On the street below, people are having just as much fun--talking, rollerblading, and eating ice cream before it melts. The boy and his family enjoy being not so busy for once. They even have time to play a board game together. When the electricity is restored, everything can go back to normal . . . but not everyone likes normal. The boy switches off the lights, and out comes the board game again. Using a combination of panels and full bleed illustrations that move from color to black-and-white and back to color, John Rocco shows that if we are willing to put our cares aside for a while, there is party potential in a summer blackout.

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From the Author:

It is not often, in this digital age, that we get a chance to stop, to really stop and just be. Be in the moment. Be with our families. Be with our neighbors. Be one with our community. Sometimes, when the lights go out, it's a good thing. It can be magical. This book is about a family who discovers that magic during one hot summer night in the city. As a kid growing up in Rhode Island, I remember quite a few blackouts. They were usually caused by lightning or snow storms, and when the lights and television flickered out and plunged our house into darkness it was always exciting. My dad would check the fuse box, and my mom would run around lighting candles while my sister and I would look out the windows to see how far the blackout stretched. I remember one time my mom actually cooked dinner on top of our wood stove!When I was doing research for this book I interviewed a lot of people about their own experience during the huge blackout of 2003. Occurring only two years after the tragedies of 9/11, I assumed most people would have panicked, and although some did, I was surprised to learn that most people really, truly enjoyed it. Yes, they had to walk home through the oppressive heat, and yes, some didn't even make it home that night, but the people of New York City opened their doors, opened their hearts, let down their hair and celebrated. I hope you enjoy this book. John Rocco

About the Author:

John Rocco (www.roccoart.com) has held a wide variety of jobs in his life, from working in the shell fishing industry, to designing attractions for Walt Disney World's Epcot, to creating illustrations for the DreamWorks movie "Shrek." Since 2005 his focus has been on creating children's books, such as Wolf! Wolf!, a Borders Original Voices Award-winner; Moonpowder; and Fu Finds the Way. He has also created the cover artwork for Rick Riordan's best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Kane Chronicles series. John and his family live in Brooklyn, New York, where they have experienced their share of memorable summer blackouts.

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