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Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. More

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Author: John Rocco

Illustrator: John Rocco

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Publisher: Disney-Hyperion, 2011

Material: hard cover

Summary: A young boy wants to play a board fame with his family, but they are too busy. So he goes off to play a video game by himself. Then the lights go off. Now everyone can play a board game! The family has a great time together until it gets too hot. They head to the roof and find their neighbors having a party. Everyone enjoys the break from the electricity and enjoys the company of their friends. Eventually the lights come back on and the family goes back to their electric activities only to realize that they were having more fun before. This is a story about family and being together in the moment.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 and Up

Interest Level: 4 to 10

Reading Level: 1

Age of Child: Read with a 4-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter loved Blackout. I talked her through the pictures the first time because I wanted to make sure she understood what was happening. She got it and she loved it. She loves nothing more than having her family' attention so it really hit home for her.

Adult Reader Reaction: I had actually read this book before and absolutely love it. This is the type of book I would buy for myself. It is a good reminder to pay attention to your children and the simple things in life. You can feel the love between the family members and appreciate the sense of community between the neighbors when they all head outside. I was a little worried that the concept might be a little too advanced but she got it and really enjoyed it.

Pros: Blackout has a great message that just might lead to your family turning off your devices and enjoying an evening together. The pictures are great. Most families will be able to identify with the characters and make connections to their lives.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! I love this book and I believe that adults can learn as much from it as children. A good reminder to pay attention to the things that really matter.


Educational Themes: The book creates an easy opportunity to open discussions (or a family meeting) about ways of connecting with each other. It illustrates how family and community are important, as well as creative problem solving.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, family, life lessons, problem solving

Date(s) Reviewed: June 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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