Seven Clues to Home

Gae Polisner and Nora Raleigh Baskin. Knopf, $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-593-11961-7
Two kids reveal the evolution of their friendship as they each progress through the scavenger hunt that one of them left before his sudden death. In the present, 13-year-old Joy is celebrating her birthday with her close-knit family, having lost her best friend, Lukas, in an accident a year earlier. She wonders if she should finally open the envelope that Lukas left her before he died—undoubtedly the first clue in their traditional birthday scavenger hunt. As she works through the clues and her grief, Joy shares memories of her friendship with Lukas and the depth of her feelings for him. In a narrative from the past, Lukas sets up the scavenger hunt on the day before Joy’s 12th birthday, debating revealing his true feelings for her. Through introspective narration, he also shares anecdotes about his deceased father, troublemaking brother, and his complicated feelings about his mother’s former boyfriend. Lukas’s fast-approaching, untimely death, and the depth of Joy’s grief afterward, add poignancy to many flashbacks as both experience the same set of clues, underscoring the duo’s genuine shared affection. Ages 8–12. Agents: (for Polisner) Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret; (for Baskin) Katelyn Detweiler, Jill Grinberg Literary. (June) Correction: A previous version of this review misstated the author's first name.
Reviewed on : 05/13/2020
Release date: 06/09/2020
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 208 pages - 978-0-593-11962-4
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