Dark Times

Dark Times, edited by Ann Walsh

Dark Times

by Ann Walsh


  • Autumn 2005
  • ISBN 978-1-55380-028-6 (1-55380-028-1)
  • 5-1/4″ x 7-5/8″ Trade Paperback, 184 pages
  • Young Reader Novel – Ages 9 to 12

The result of a cross-Canada contest for the best short stories about young people’s experience of loss and grief, Dark Times is a superb anthology about a topic that often remains hidden but is crucial in the development of a child’s sense of identity.

The stories develop highly contemporary situations: a First Nations boy mourns the death of his mother; a girl copes with the loss of her grandmother to Alzheimer’s disease; a boyfriend’s death takes a girl through the five stages of grief; a destitute family loses their home; a daughter loses a parent when her mother leaves; a fetal alcohol syndrome child is lost to his family when he is sent to prison; a boy loses the brother he loves to mental illness; the death of a small child challenges a girl’s belief in God; and a young girl discovers her father in an affair and confronts him – with devastating results.

Well-known children’s writer Ann Walsh has chosen the stories and one of her own is included. The other contributors are Sarah Ellis, Lee Maracle, Alison Lohans, Diana Aspin, Carolyn Pogue, Gina Rozon, Jessie Mae Keller, Libby Kennedy, Donna R. Gamache, Patricia McCowan, Betty Jane Hegerat and Carrie Mac.

“A fine collection of gritty and compelling stories for young people about loss and grief, stories that will rivet the reader, and in the end, inspire hope because of the indomitable spirit of youth.”
— Norma Charles, author of All the Way to Mexico

Reviews & Awards

Selected for Our Choice (now Best Books for Kids & Teens)

“It is remarkable that there is not one weak story in the anthology . . . a truly excellent collection”
Canadian Literature

“An extremely moving and touching collection of stories … this great anthology should be read by all”
What If? Magazine

“the selections celebrate the resilience and courageous spirit of young people struggling to overcome pain and adversity”
Prairie Fire

“as the best of these stories demonstrate, fiction can be a beacon of enlightenment”
Quill & Quire

“This is an excellent anthology . . . Highly Recommended”
CM Magazine

“A strong collection, valuable for young people and those who care about the troubles they face.”
United Church Observer

“This Dark Times anthology is definitely deserving of 4 stars”
KIdsWWwrite – Sarah’s Stars

“I have to applaud Rondale Press…the stories are timeless and important and great vehicles in any classroom to promote discussion about ‘Where do youth today put their grief?'”
Richard Van Camp

“This easy to read book compiled by Ann Walsh…brings reality home with its depth and breadth of experiences. The dark times bring forth warriors and survivors and that’s a strong message from this enlightening book.”
Wawaytay News

“Dark Times… portray[s] pain, abandonment, betrayal, anger, facing new feelings and new lives with no road map, as youth are left to manage life as best they can. The courage of the youth facing such adversity at a young age gives heart to those who may live the same or similar lives.”
Anishinabek News