cover image Picture Me Gone

Picture Me Gone

Meg Rosoff. Putnam, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-399-25765-0

Twelve-year-old Mila has remarkable powers of observation, but even more impressive is her insight into people’s minds. This may be why her college-professor father takes her with him from London to America to track down his oldest friend, who has suddenly disappeared, leaving his wife and young son behind. The mission, which takes them through upstate New York, is more complicated than Mila expects, with clues not quite adding up and disturbing secrets unveiled, including the realization that her father hasn’t been entirely honest. Teeming with complex adult problems—infidelity, marital collapse, the death of a child—this thought-provoking coming-of-age story requires that readers be at least as mature as Mila as she confronts unpleasant truths. Yet Rosoff’s (There Is No Dog) writing isn’t all gloom and doom. Mila’s sharp observations of the people she meets and the winter landscape add a fresh, poetic aura to her discoveries and the novel as a whole. “The sun is shining, the sky impossible blue,” she thinks. “The world looks so dazzling, I almost can’t bear to look at it.” Ages 12–up. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (Oct.)