I love mysteries, particularly ones that appear to add in a touch of the fantastic, so I was excited to read North of Nowhere by Liz Kessler, which I received an e-galley for. I'm so glad I was able to read it as I know this will be a hit with my 4th-6th graders. It will be so much fun to book talk.
The sleepy seaside
village of Porthaven hides a mystery ...Mia's grandad has vanished and
nobody knows why. When Mia and her mum go to support her grandma, Mia
makes friends with local girl, Dee. But why does Dee seem so out of
reach? Why does she claim to be facing violent storms when Mia sees only
sunny skies? And can Mia solve the mystery and find her grandad before
time and tide forever wash away his future? A night of storms. A
lifetime of secrets. A week to find the truth.
I was able to figure out all that was going on in this story early on, almost right away. I knew who all the people were, where they were, and what was going to happen. While this stole some of my enjoyment, I don't think that will happen with a child reader. This came from my wide variety of experience with this sort of book. Child readers will most likely be taken by surprise by all the twists and turns and revelations.
Mia is a girl that will have a wide appeal to child readers as well. Kessler made her sound like a 12 year old. The book is written more like how a 12 year old would write a story than what a 12 year old girl's thoughts would look like. It is simple, not layered thinking, and there are lots of exclamation points! Again, not particularly my cup of tea, but kids will like it.
Definitely pick this one for kids in your life who love mysteries mixed with fantasy. I will be suggesting it to Bit, it's a book that will be just her thing.
I read an e-galley made available by the publisher, Candlewick, via NetGalley. North of Nowhere is available for purchase on August 6.