First Light, by Rebecca Stead


This is a rare book, the author’s first, and such a page turner that I was hardly able to put it down all day yesterday. A glaciologist takes his wife, young son Peter and research assistant to live in a tent on the ice in Greenland. Almost under their feet is a society that escaped persecution in England to hollow out a colony under the ice. But Climate Change may threaten their very existence as the pack ice and glacial ice melt. As the story progresses, we learn more about the colony where they move around by ice skating, raise special dogs as one on one lifetime companions, and everyone knows who their mother is but not who their father was. That last tidbit is never adequately explained. It is a matriarchal society and they have to keep a list of bloodlines to avoid inbreeding, but couldn’t they just give people a list of suitable mates to choose from?

A daughter from the First Line (the founder’s blood line) decides to try to find a way to the surface. She succeeds but puts her best friend in mortal danger. Peter comes to their rescue. The cat is out of the bag about their  under ice society — but did people already know about the colony?

Stead, Rebecca. (2007). First Light.  A Yearling Book from Random House, ISBN 978-0-440-42222, 328 pages.

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About KLevenson

I am Teacher Librarian at Piedmont High School in the San Francisco East Bay. I am a part time reference Librarian I for the San Francisco Public Library. I have a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State and a Teacher Librarian credential in addition to my teaching credential in Science. My first MA was from Harvard in Archaeology. My students teach me something new every time I am with them!
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