City of Light, City of Dark

by Avi, Illustrated By Brian Floca

December 2013

Ages 10 – 14 . Grades 5 – 9

Library of Congress: 93002887

Lexile measure: NP



Two kids fight to save their city from eternal winter in this gripping fantasy by Newbery Medalist Avi, illustrated by three-time Sibert Honoree Brian Floca.

"To begin with--there were these KURBS. These Kurbs owned an Island...with their POWER they controlled both day and night...Years ago, when People first came to the Kurbs' Island, they wanted to build themselves a City."

The Kurbs give people light and warmth to establish a city, on one condition: The people must return the Power every year or risk losing the city--forever. This system works for centuries until evil Mr. Underton tries to steal the Power. If he succeeds, the Kurbs will take back the City, reducing it to a dark and frozen tundra. It's up to Carlos and Sarah to find the Power--housed in a subway token--and keep the City safe, despite secrets of Sarah's history that are entwined with the token. What ensues is a race against darkness. A race against the lies of the past. And most of all, a race against time.

Avi's work spans nearly every genre and has received nearly every major prize, including the Newbery Medal for Crispin: The Cross of Lead and Newbery Honors for Nothing But the Truth and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. Avi lives in Colorado. You can learn more about him online at
Brian Floca

Brian Floca is the author and illustrator of the Caldecott Medal-winning book Locomotive. He also wrote and illustrated Lightship and Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, both Sibert Honor Books, and illustrated Avi's Poppy Stories series as well as Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan's Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring, also a Sibert Honor Book. Brian grew up in Texas and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. Find him online at


  • Praise for City of Light, City of Dark

    A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
    A New York Public Library, Books for the Teen Age

    *". . . Avi and Floca dynamically convey a timeless tale of good versus evil. Brilliantly parodying the superhero cartoons of old, this . . . is sure to be a hit with reluctant readers and advanced readers alike."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

    *"It's a great story, full of characters facing Dickensian moral dilemmas and Vernian grand adventures, a villain one can hiss, and a fantastic flight over and through the City . . . an urban fantasy for middle-school readers who enjoy the 'what ifs' of imagination."--VOYA, starred review

    "Avi delivers a fast-paced adventure that ably mixes fantasy with urban reality. Floca's simple but expressive illustrations capture both the magic and the grit of New York City."--San Francisco Chronicle


Paperback / softback

Softcover Smyth Paperback

ISBN: 9780545398800

0pp. | 6 x 9