cover image Taking It

Taking It

Michael Cadnum, Author Viking Children's Books $15.99 (144p) ISBN 978-0-670-86130-9

Cadnum (Calling Home; Breaking the Fall) keeps readers on the edge of their seats with this taut psychological portrait. What begins as a department store prank-fooling floorwalkers and detectives by pretending to shoplift-spins out of control when high school junior Anna Charles starts finding items in her purse and pockets that she does not remember taking. In her precarious mental state, Anna comes dangerously close to alienating herself from those who would be able to help her: her father, a high-profile lawyer; her independent-minded older brother, Ted; her best friend, Maureen; her mother and her new stepfather, a pop psychologist. With subtlety and tremendous insight, Cadnum draws connections between the causes and manifestations of Anna's kleptomania while revealing the complexity of her family life. As Anna narrates her tale in powerfully elliptical fashion, readers' perceptions of the protagonist and her dark journey through uncertainty will change dramatically. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)