The Dark Light by Mette Newth
(Sunburst Books)

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When it was discovered that thirteen-year-old Tora has leprosy, she is sent from her family's remote mountain farm to the leprosy hospital in the bustling port of Bergen. In early-nineteenth-century Norway, lepers are quarantined in this hospital and no longer considered among the living. But even as her body gradually fails her, Tora's new life blossoms. She finds strength through helping her fellow patients, both young and old, and she decides to see for herself what the Bible says about leprosy. To do so, she must make friends with the young and angry Mistress Dybendal, the only person at the hospital who can teach her to read.

As she did in The Abduction (an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year), Mette Newth brings another era vividly to life and demonstrates the timeless nature of the search for identity and tolerance.

About Mette Newth

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Mette Newth is a writer, illustrator, and translator as well as the director of the Norwegian Forum for Freedom of Expression. She lives in Oslo, Norway.
Published April 24, 1998 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 256 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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From Newth (The Abduction, 1989), a dense, unusual novel about Tora, 13, who is dying of leprosy in a hospital in 19th- century Bergen, Norway.

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Publishers Weekly

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A 13-year-old girl joins the ranks of the "living dead" in an early-19th-century leprosy hospital in Norway.

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