Light in the Shadow

book two in the RAK Initiative Trilogy

LOSING A LOVED ONE is difficult for any family, but for ten-and-a-half-year-old Ella, it is paralyzing. Somehow, everyone around her can pack away the feelings of hurt and loss and move on with life, quite similar to the feelings experienced when taking down Christmas decorations. In essence, it’s sad and empty, but after one week, life moves on. Even Natalia, Ella’s little sister, remains carefree and eager to start kindergarten.

Moving to Portland, Oregon, for a fresh start doesn’t change anything for Ella. For starters, facing a new group of fifth grade students mid-November in a brand-new school is a hard ask for anyone, let alone a girl who lost a big sister and best friend. Sure, Mr. Bailey, Ella’s teacher, and Mrs. Russell, the guidance counselor, are welcoming and always ready to share a positive word of encouragement, but Ella’s emotional battle remains front and center. How could she make new friends and create new memories without forgetting her sister? But something changes one Monday in April. R.J., a new student, joins Mr. Bailey’s class at Fern Creek Elementary.

Ella ignores R.J. at first, but then realizes he is hiding a secret. As Ella takes small steps to help this new student conquer a fear, a friendship develops that will begin to heal her heart. Light in the Shadow is a journey of finding one’s purpose when the world seems dark and hopeless.