Synopses & Reviews
From NYT bestselling author Blue Balliett, the story of a girl who falls into Chicago's shelter system, and from there must solve the mystery of her father's strange disappearance.
Where is Early's father? He's not the kind of father who would disappear. But he's gone . . . and he's left a whole lot of trouble behind.
As danger closes in, Early, her mom, and her brother have to flee their apartment. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to move into a city shelter. Once there, Early starts asking questions and looking for answers. Because her father hasn't disappeared without a trace. There are patterns and rhythms to what's happened, and Early might be the only one who can use them to track him down and make her way out of a very tough place.
With her signature, singular love of language and sense of mystery, Blue Balliett weaves a story that takes readers from the cold, snowy Chicago streets to the darkest corner of the public library, on an unforgettable hunt for deep truths and a reunited family.
"The Pearl family doesn't have much beside a shelf of books and a tight-knit bond between parents Dash and Summer and kids Early, 11, and her younger brother, Jubilation. When Dash disappears after taking a second job that involves transferring used books, the family's apartment is violently ransacked, and the remaining Pearls must move to a homeless shelter. The third-person narrative mostly focuses on Early, but Balliett (The Danger Box) occasionally strays to an adult sensibility to marvel at the architecture of a Chicago library branch ('an elegant conversation between stone and glass') or to convey the hardships homeless kids face at school ('Most struggled at their grade level, having moved a bunch of times'). Early is sure that the key to unraveling her father's disappearance lies in the one book he kept from his job, The First Book of Rhythms by Langston Hughes, and though she does some sleuthing, the mystery is largely explained in conventional exposition by adults. Still, this novel abounds in heart, shining a spotlight on the gritty truths about homelessness. Ages 8 12. Agent: Doe Coover, Doe Coover Agency. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A rambling old inn, a strange map, an attic packed with treasures, squabbling guests, theft, friendship, and an unusual haunting mark this smartand#160;middle gradeand#160;mystery in the tradition of the Mysterious Benedict Society books and The Westing Game.
Itand#8217;s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smugglerand#8217;s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepersand#8217; adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Miloand#8217;s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cookand#8217;s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass Houseand#8212;and themselves.
About the Author
Blue Balliett is the author of several bestselling, acclaimed mystery novels, including Chasing Vermeer (a Book Sense Book of the Year and an Edgar Award winner), The Wright 3, The Calder Game, and The Danger Box. She writes in the laundry room of her home in Chicago, Illinois, and you can find her online at www.blueballiettbooks.com.