cover image The Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family

The Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family

Sarah Kapit. Dial, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-593-11229-8

Joining the shelf of books about autistic characters drawn to sleuthing, this quiet family story by Kapit (Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!) centers two autistic sisters navigating life’s mysteries. Sorely hoping to find a “thing” of her own, avid reader and writer Lara Finkel, 12, starts FIASCCO (Finkel Investigative Agency Solving Consequential Crimes Only)—her sister Caroline, 11, who communicates through an app, has art; their brother has science. As the siblings head back to school, Lara, dodging Caroline’s interest in FIASCCO, begins looking into the secrets behind various events: why their father, an investigative journalist with ADHD, forgets to pick up the kids and ruins the Shabbat brisket. Caroline, meanwhile, grows increasingly annoyed with Lara’s protective overtures and befriends a fellow student. Employing a sometimes-formal voice, Kapit straightforwardly renders the siblings’ perspectives, including emotional and somatic responses, while building familial tensions to a High Holiday climax. She also emphasizes a diversity of experiences—of autism, Jewish traditions (Ashkenazi and Sephardic), and family and school life—showing that there’s no single iteration of any identity while highlighting a close-knit family that prioritizes making amends and learning to recover. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Jennifer Udden, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Mar.) [/em]