The Art of Escaping

Erin Callahan. Amberjack, $12.99 paper (324p) ISBN 978-1-944995-6-52
When 17-year-old Mattie’s best friend heads to boarding school for the summer, and others are padding their resumes and touring colleges, Mattie stays in her Rhode Island hometown to dive headlong into her studies with Miyu, the cranky daughter of famous Japanese escape artist Akiko, who died suddenly in a plane crash. Picking locks and undoing straitjackets is empowering for Mattie, but she feels the need to closely guard her fixation: “My thing was weird. Dangerous. My thing required an explanation.” Sections narrated in Mattie’s amusingly self-aware, exuberant voice are interspersed with Akiko’s diary entries. Callahan’s first novel explores the impact of leading a double life and risking discovery at every turn. Through a tough-minded heroine, Callahan urges readers to think independently, take risks, and embrace their interests. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jen Chen Tran, Bradford Literary. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/02/2018
Release date: 06/01/2018
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