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In it's 16th printing!
Whistling in the Dark
t was the summer on Vliet Street we all started locking our doors...

Sally O'Malley made a promise to her daddy before he died. She swore she'd look after her sister, Troo. Keep her safe. But like her Granny always said—actions speak louder than words. Sally would have to agree with her. Because during the summer of 1959, the girls' mother is hospitalized, their stepfather has abandoned them for a six pack, and their big sister, Nell, who was left strict instructions to take care of the girls, is too busy making out with her boyfriend to notice that her charges are on the loose. And so is a murderer and molester.

Highly imaginative Sally is pretty sure of two things. Who the killer is. And that she's next on his list. If nobody will believe her, she has no choice but to protect herself and Troo as best she can, relying on her own courage and the kindness of her neighbors.

Funny, wise and uplifting, Whistling in the Dark is the story of two tough and endearing little girls...and of a time not so long ago, when life was not as innocent as it appeared.

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NAL paperback, May 2007, ISBN-10: 0451221230, ISBN-13: 978-0451221230



  Check out these READER REVIEWS!

Received the Honor Book Award from the Midwest Booksellers Association

Selected as a BookSense Pick for the month of May, as well as a Featured Alternate by Double Day Book Club, The Mystery Guild and The Literary Guild

"The loss of innocence can be as dramatic as the loss of a parent or the discovery that what's perceived to be truth can actually be a big fat lie, as shown in Kagen's compassionate debut, a coming-of-age thriller set in Milwaukee during the summer of 1959... Kagen sharply depicts the vulnerability of children of any era. Sally, "a girl who wouldn't break a promise even if her life depended on it," makes an enchanting protagonist."
   —Publishers Weekly

"The plot is a humdinger...a certifiable Grade A summer read."
   —The Capital Times

"One of the summer's hot reads!"
   —The Chicago Tribune

"You won't be able to take your eyes off the page."
   —Beth Goehring, Editor-in-Chief, The Literary Guild

"Debut author Lesley Kagen has accomplished a rare feat in Whistling in the Dark, creating a ten-year-old Sally O'Malley, a modern day Scout Finch, Huck Finn or Oliver Twist; a child who, at once innocent and wise, alters our way of experiencing life."
   —Schulers Books

"Delightful...gritty and smart, profane and poetic."
   —Milwaukee Magazine

"I loved Whistling in the Dark. It was a fabulous book. Living with the O'Malley sisters for the summer is an experience that no one will forget."
   —Flamingnet Top CHOICE award

"Kagen's debut novel sparkles with charm thanks to 10-year-old narrator Sally O'Malley, who draws readers into the story of her momentous summer in 1959. The author has an uncanny ability to visualize the world as seen by a precocious child in this unforgettable book."
   —Romantic Times Top Pick (4 and a half stars)

"Innocently wise and ultimately captivating."
   —The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Bittersweet and beautifully rendered, Whistling in the Dark is the story of two young sisters and a summer jam-packed with disillusionment and discovery. With the unrelenting optimism that only children could bring to such a situation, these girls triumph. So does Kagen. Whistling in the Dark shines. Don't miss it."
   —Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants

"Every now and then, you come across a book with characters so endearing that you love them like family, and a plot so riveting that you can't read slowly to make the story last longer, no matter how hard you try. Whistling in the Dark is one such book. I absolutely loved this novel from the first page to the last!"
   —Sandra Kring, author of Carry Me Home and The Book of Bright Ideas