Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Missing by Melanie Florence

As a middle level reading specialist, I am often on the lookout for Hi/Lo YA (high interest/low reading level young adult) books that will appeal to the students and not be childish or look like something that is embarrassing for them to carry around.

This is by Lorimer Books out of Canada and they focus on books for reluctant readers. What caught my interest was the title. Right away I know it is going to be about someone that is missing, so a mystery, and the picture is the missing girl. The potential reader has to make inferences, that is what makes it mysterious. The other reason I want to read this is because this is an Indigenous or First Nation or Aboriginal girl that is missing. I am gathering that from the inset picture, but also the girl looking for her is named Feather. A little heavy handed, but it's a beautiful name.  Right there in just the cover, the publishers provide enough information for even the reluctant reader to "read" enough to make a decision on the book. Reluctant readers do not read the synopsis on the back, but they do "read" the cover, so they did a good job on just the cover. I'm hooked.

Description from the Publisher
Will Feather find Mia . . . alive?After a girl she knows from school goes missing and is found dead in the Red River, Feather is shocked when the police write it off as a suicide. Then, it’s Feather’s best friend, Mia, who vanishes — but Mia’s mom and abusive stepfather paint Mia as a frequent runaway, so the authorities won’t investigate her disappearance either. Everyone knows that Native girls are disappearing and being killed, but no one is connecting the dots.
When Feather’s brother Kiowa is arrested under suspicion of Mia’s abduction, Feather knows she has to clear his name. What Feather doesn’t know is that the young serial killer who has taken Mia has become obsessed with Feather, and her investigation is leading her into terrible danger. 

My thoughts:

This book delivers on the promise without reverting to unrealistic sap. It is definitely a "stay up all night even if you have to wake up early the next morning" kind of read. Mia as the main character is brave, but not heroic. She is still scared and unsure. She is still a teenager, and that makes this story even more compelling. As a teacher, what I like is how easily this book can transition to an I-search project on Indigenous issues with young people. 

Publication date: September 1, 2016

NetGalley and the publisher provided an ePub copy in exchange for an honest review. 

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