Every Missing Piece
Every Missing Piece
Publisher's Hardcover14.44
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Annotation: Suspecting the worst when she encounters a mysterious boy and his booby traps throughout the North Carolina woods, a cautious young girl is unable to convince the adults in her life that the person she saw might be a boy who went missing months earlier.
Catalog Number: #209727
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: Hyperion
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 284 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-368-04895-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-368-04895-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019044034
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
While trying to solve the mystery of a missing boy, Maddy finds a new family.Ever since her father died, Maddy Gaines has been anxious, performing weekly safety checks on her small-town North Carolina home and garnering the sheriff’s ire for calling in too many false alarms. When the 11-year-old not only becomes obsessed with the news reports about the abducted Billy Holcomb, but thinks she has spotted him in her own neighborhood, she knows she must uncover proof before reporting it this time. Maddy’s heartfelt first-person narration reveals how her recon missions to find out more about a new classmate named Eric leave her with increasing certainty that he’s actually Billy, as well as funny feelings for a boy for the first time. Adding to the light mystery are more areas of concern for the preteen: Her mother has recently remarried, and she and quirky Stan now want a new baby; her best friend, Cress, seems to be growing up faster than Maddy is ready to; and she’s afraid of losing the memories of her father. Conklin’s fine Southern storytelling, complete with Cheerwine, homemade pies, and pig pickin’s, blends these nuanced realities with care. A nail-biting ending brings hopeful resolutions, including a growing family that still honors Maddy’s dad. Maddy, her family, Billy, and Eric are white while Cress is black.Maddy’s spunky resilience will appeal to girls adjusting to their own changes. (Fiction. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
Eleven-year-old Maddy Gaines can-t help but imagine danger lurking around every corner. In the three years since a tragic accident took her father-s life, the anxious girl has become so well acquainted with the local emergency services as to be considered a nuisance, dialing 911 at any hint of trouble. Six months after a local boy is abducted, she discovers a seemingly similar child with a bruised face setting booby traps in a cemetery, but she decides that she must accumulate proof to be taken seriously. Maddy becomes friends with the boy despite his connection to her sworn enemy, with whom she is engaged in a territory war. Also on Maddy-s mind is getting along with her awkward new stepfather, whom she considers -the wrong piece for our puzzle,- and the way her best friend seems to be growing up faster than she is. Conklin-s well-paced narrative nimbly incorporates Maddy-s ever-present fear and lingering grief into a nuanced tale of a tween discovering that things aren-t always what they seem. Ages 8-12. Agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7 Sixth grader Maddy Gaines wants her old life back: before her father died, before her anxiety caused her to keep a rescue ladder under her bedroom window, and before her best friend, Cress, became interested in boys and skin care. But as Cress tells Maddy, "You have to get used to it." As Maddy navigates a relationship with Stan, her mother's new husband, and the changing dynamics of her friendship with Cress, she is also confronted with a mystery. Walking in the neighborhood graveyard one day, Maddy meets Eric, a boy who reminds her of Billy Holcomb who has been missing for six months. Maddy wants to share her discovery with her mom, but after so many false alarms fueled by her anxiety, she decides to say nothing. As she gathers evidence to support her conviction that Eric is actually Billy, Maddy has the opportunity to reconsider assumptions she's made about her friends and Stan. She slowly begins to connect with Stan and appreciate that he is making a genuine effort to be a part of Maddy's life. When she learns the true story of what happened to Billy and his mother, Maddy is also forced to understand some hard truths about the realities of the emotional and physical effects of domestic violence. VERDICT In this heartfelt story about a family struggling through adjustments big and small, Maddy's efforts to make sense of the changes in her life will inspire young readers. Shelley Sommer, Inly School, Scituate, MA
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Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (5/1/20)
Word Count: 53,017
Reading Level: 4.7
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.7 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 511894 / grade: Middle Grades

A stunning voice-driven novel about grief, family, and putting the pieces back together for "fans of Rebecca Stead and Erin Entrada Kelly" (BCCB) and "readers who enjoyed The Thing About Jellyfish (Booklist).

Maddy Gaines sees danger everywhere she looks: at the bus stop, around the roller rink, in the woods, and (especially) by the ocean. When Maddy meets a mysterious boy setting booby traps in the North Carolina woods, she suspects is Billy Holcomb--the boy who went missing in the fall.

As Maddy tries to uncover the truth about Billy Holcomb, ghosts from her own past surface, her best friend starts to slip away, and Maddy's world tilts once again. Can she put the pieces of her life back together, even if some of them are lost forever?

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