Recommended by: Rose Reissman, literacy specialist, Ditmas IS 62, United Federation of Teachers.
Suitable for: Grades 7-12
Why I chose it: This mystery of a missing adult, filtered through the first-person narration of Mila, a 12-year-old Londoner, grabs readers from the first page. The heroine has analytical camera-image collecting skills and the sophistication of being the only child of two adult parents who treat her almost as a peer. Mila has an extraordinary capacity to look at any scene and interpret comments and gestures as data for case solution. This thriller is a wonderful way to engage students who are wise beyond their years.
What I like best: Each chapter sequences a day in a weeklong investigation in upstate New York. As Mila discovers the full picture behind the suddenly missing Matthew, and his family, she also absorbs details about the fragile nature of family relationships.
How teachers can use it: This book easily lends itself to classroom Common Core ELA infusions. It is filled with rich quotes that can be cited by readers and analyzed for meaning. Academic vocabulary is plentiful in this work.
About the author: Meg Rosoff won the Michael L. Printz Award for How I Live Now; her second novel, Just in Case, won the 2007 CILIP Carnegie Medal. Visit www.megrosoff.co.uk.
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