cover image The Jigsaw Jungle

The Jigsaw Jungle

Kristin Levine. Putnam, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-17452-0

Levine (The Lions of Little Rock) crafts a powerful puzzle of a novel about a missing father and his daughter’s search for the truth. The memorable narrator, 12-year-old Claudia, pieces together this “scrapbook” of a story through an inventive collection of notes to the reader, texts, emails, video transcripts, phone logs, Google directions, receipts, and other items. The fragments and ephemera serve to document and help Claudia to come to grips with the sudden, unexplained disappearance of her father. When Claudia’s mother must attend a work conference in Switzerland, Claudia has to stay with her introverted grandfather, Papa, who is still grieving the recent death of her big-hearted grandmother. As Papa and Claudia forge a closer relationship, she also meets a budding filmmaker, who helps her decipher the intricate clues that her father (a lover of brainteasers) left behind. Through the story’s patchwork format, Levine reveals characters’ inner complexities while maintaining tension and uncertainty leading up to the story’s moving revelation. This taut mystery is also a portrait of a family coming to terms with truth and identity. Ages 10–up. Agent: Kathy Green, Kathryn Green Literary Agency. [em](June) [/em]