A Blinding Light

Bolen Books Children's Book Prize
About this Work 

Award-winning author Julie Lawson (No Safe Harbour) tells a riveting story of the Halifax Explosion and its aftermath, exploring the concepts of guilt, blame, and taking ownership, the divide between the rich and poor, locals and immigrants, as well as the human bonds that arise in times of tragedy. Young readers will be spellbound, and teachers and librarians will find plenty of topics for discussion in the book’s historical and cultural lessons.

Nimbus Publishing
Jurors' Citation 

Julie Lawson’s A Blinding Light takes a historical headline from Halifax in 1917 and turns it into a fully developed and riveting story. The characters are convincing and charming; the reader truly cares about what happens to them. Lawson’s use of historical events as well as language, culture, and class distinctions infuse the story with realism without making it feel like a history lesson. Children interested in the past and in disasters will find this novel engaging and, as the jury discovered, will be unable to put it down until the very end.

Julie Lawson

Julie Lawson is the award-winning author of many books for young people. Her three novels for Dear Canada have been acclaimed by readers of all ages. No Safe Harbour, also about the Halifax Explosion, won the Hackmatack Award. Julie has a personal connection with the events of tragic event. One of her grandfathers, a multi-generation Nova Scotian, was a patient in a Halifax hospital on the day of the explosion. Writing this novel allowed Julie to delve into the history behind many of the stories she'd heard as a child. Julie lives in Victoria, BC.