The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as Told to His Brother)

David Levithan. Knopf, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-9848-4859-8

It’s great to step into a magical wardrobe and be transported to a fantastic world, but what happens when you come back? Returning from a magical place called Aveinieu with a royal blue leaf in his hair, 12-year-old Aidan finds he’s been missing for six days, his inexplicable disappearance resulting in a massive, town-wide search as well as endless police questioning of his family and best friend. But joy over his safe return quickly turns to unease about his inability to account for the time—Aidan knows he won’t be believed, and his exhausted parents don’t know whether to be worried or furious. His brother, 11-year-old Lucas, previously duped by Aidan’s fanciful stories, tries to catch him in inconsistencies in a brotherly arc that moves toward emotional support. Via Lucas’s urgent narration, Levithan (19 Love Songs) validates both Lucas’s real-world experience and Aidan’s post-portal mourning, telling a well-paced story about the collision of realities in the vein of Laura E. Weymouth and Seanan McGuire. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Bill Clegg, the Clegg Agency. (Feb.) [/em]
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