Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff

Meg Rosoff (How I Live Now; There Is No Dog; The Bride's Farewell and more) has again hit just the right combination of intriguing plot and distinctive characters in Picture Me Gone.

Twelve-year-old Mila narrates this engaging mystery novel. She and her father had planned a visit from England to upstate New York to see his oldest friend. When Matthew disappears just before their arrival, the two go in search of him, while Matthew's wife and baby stay home. Mila is a good detective because she is unusually observant, perhaps even a little clairvoyant.

"I register every emotion, every relationship, every subtext. If someone is angry or sad or disappointed, I see it like a neon sign. There's no way to explain how, I just do. For a long time I thought everyone did."

But the adult world contains emotional minefields. Mila discovers hard truths, including the knowledge that parents are "imperfect, dangerous, peppered with betrayals and also with love." "We are all woven together, like a piece of cloth, and we all support each other, for better or worse."

A thoughtful coming-of-age story with strong crossover appeal; Grade 7 to adult.

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