Synopses & Reviews
So my only protection is a kindergarten teacher and a ninety-eight-pound female minister....And they don't even believe I'm in danger. andlt;BRandgt; As Bethany approaches her thirteenth birthday, her parents begin acting more oddly than usual: Her mother cries constantly, and her father barely lets Bethany out of his sight. Then one morning he hustles the entire family into the car, drives across several state lines -- and leaves Bethany with an aunt she never knew existed. Bethany has no idea what's going on. She's worried that her mom and dad are running from some kind of trouble, but she can't find out because they won't tell her where they are going. andlt;BRandgt; Bethany's only clue is a few words she overheard her father tell her aunt Myrlie: "She doesn't know anything about Elizabeth." But Aunt Myrlie won't tell Bethany who Elizabeth is, and she won't explain why people in her small town react to Bethany as if they've seen a ghost. The mystery intensifies when Bethany gets a package from her father containing four different birth certificates from four states, with four different last names -- and thousands of dollars in cash. And when a strange man shows up asking questions, Bethany realizes she's not the only one who's desperate to unravel the secrets of her past. andlt;BRandgt; In this exhilarating thriller, Margaret Peterson Haddix crafts a taut story so full of twists and turns, readers will be gripped until the startling conclusion.
"Haddix (the Shadow Children series) releases another suspenseful pageturner here narrated by Bethany Cole. As the novel opens, Bethany is anxious; her father has barely let her out of his sight and her mother has been weeping for months. Now, a few days before her 13th birthday, her father has put the two of them in the car, headed West. He leaves Bethany with her Aunt Myrlie and drives off with no explanation. The only clue Bethany has is what she heard her father say to her aunt, 'She doesn't know anything about Elizabeth.' Bethany is determined to learn why she has been left with an aunt she never knew existed, and what the mysterious Elizabeth has to do with it all. Later, Bethany appears to be in danger from a stalker perhaps she is not the only one searching for answers. Haddix conveys Bethany's dismay and fear through believable dialogue and thoughts the girl's growing awareness of uncanny similarities between herself and Elizabeth (their love of Froot Loops and tough vocabulary words) and believably charts the heroine's slow warming to her aunt and cousin. Bethany's gradual feelings of anger and resentment towards her parents are particularly poignant. Haddix's timely novel raises provocative issues about what makes an individual unique, with both compassion and clarity. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
-- Kirkus Reviews
"[A] twisting plot and spine-tingling creepiness."
About the Author
Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including The Missing series and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for andlt;iandgt;The Indianapolis Newsandlt;/iandgt;. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at HaddixBooks.com.