Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Catherine Macphail

Available: Hard copy, paperback

     Maxine Moody's older brother Derek disappeared ten months earlier. Did he runaway? Was he kidnapped? Is he dead?  Emotionally her parents are so consumed with his disappearance, it's like she doesn't exist. She takes solace in cutting school and playing video games at the local arcade in her London, England neighborhood. When the police find the remains of a dead boy who's identified as her brother, she thinks life will get better. Her parents will go back to normal. But they don't. Her mother starts consulting mediums. Her father seems even more distant. Could things get any worse? Then the impossible thing happens. She receives a phone call from someone who claims to be her dead brother Derek.
    This is a well-paced mystery thriller. Maxine's prickly personality is both believable and likable. Her angst is real and not fluff. The book also takes  both a real and age appropriate look at the results bullying.

Target audience: Grades 7-9
Mystery suspense: very good
Kid appeal: High

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