Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 228 p.

RAC Book: Yes

Jared Finch and his family have agreed to take in a refugee family from Africa that their church is sponsoring. Jared is less than thrilled with the idea of sharing his room, his house, and his school with total strangers. The arrangement was made at the last minute when the planned apartment fell through. When the family arrives they seem distracted and afraid of everything as if something is chasing them. Jared also starts to notice that they do not act as a family. They hardly speak to each other and no one seems that concerned that the young daughter, Alake, has yet to speak or show any emotion about anything. Despite all of his misgivings, Jared begins to feel compassion and love for this family as his family helps them adjust to life in America. His concerns are not unfounded, however, and a dark secret is about to expose them all to terrible danger.

This book discusses what life is like in Africa including child armies, cruel treatment, and blood diamonds. The Finches, like many American families, are oblivious to the fact that people have to live in conditions like this. They are surprised that this African family has never seen a grocery store before and therefore cannot even fathom losing family members to preventable diseases and being forced to do things they would never do otherwise simply because a gun is pointed at their heads. This story discusses real issues that are going on in the world and would be a great read for any person. In addition to being informative, it is compelling and interesting all the way through. Highly recommended.

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8 Responses to “Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney”


  1. 1 Anonymous March 9, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I think the book is pretty good it discuss some thing that were just awesome!!!! To me but there were some things in there that was confusing??

  2. 2 Anonymous September 6, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    i love this book.
    caroline b. cooney is awesome!

  3. 3 Anonymous December 20, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    i was confused at first but the book as really good

  4. 4 Anonymous March 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    i am reading the book right now and i can barely put it down!

  5. 5 Anonymous September 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    this whas a great book

  6. 6 Anonymous September 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    i like this book so much i havent put it down

  7. 7 readingwithtequila.com May 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this information together.

    I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and
    leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  8. 8 Lucette February 10, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Can anyone tell me if this would be appropriate for a class of 12 yr olds?
    Thank you! I know the last book they read Reign of fire seemed VERY inappropriate for the age – and couldn’t understand WHY they were subjected to reading this material….?


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