cover image Is Anybody There?

Is Anybody There?

Eve Bunting. J.P. Lippincott, $13 (170pp) ISBN 978-0-397-32302-9

Latchkey kid Michael is 13 and independent. Even though junior high school is no picnic, and his widowed mother seems to be getting awfully chummy with their tenant, Nick, Michael is pretty happy. Then, just before Christmas, he has the creepy sensation that someone is watching him. His key is missing for a while, and he keeps hearing suspicious noises in the house when he's there alone. In discovering the culpritNick's son (abducted by his mother after a bitter divorce years before)Michael realizes that he is lucky to have his mother, and potentially a decent stepfather. This well-crafted, high interest/low reading level novel promisesand deliversa first-rate story. Bunting's characterizations are strong and believable, and her attention to detail, like the descriptions of Michael's home-built bike and school friends, makes the book thoroughly satisfying. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)