cover image Awakening


Robin Wasserman, . . Scholastic, $5.99 (207pp) ISBN 978-0-439-93338-4

The first title in Wasserman's Chasing Yesterday series puts a supernatural spin on a classic amnesia storyline. A girl awakens in the aftermath of a powerful explosion, with only the shadowy memory of a man standing over her body. She is taken to a hospital to recover from her extensive injuries; when her doctors discover she has no memories of who she is, she christens herself JD—short for Jane Doe. Because her family cannot be located, JD is taken to a juvenile hall, where she befriends an orphan named Daniel. JD is plagued by nightmares both when she sleeps and often during the day (in one she is in a grassy meadow and a helicopter crashes in front of her), and several strange incidents hint that she has a vast reserve of power within her that erupts when she's threatened. A woman claiming to be JD's mother eventually comes for her, but JD has no memory of her mother or her former home, and she clings to her self-created identity. Her mother takes her to see Dr. Styron, a psychotherapist, in an attempt to recover her memory, and while he says that she is making progress, JD's distrust of both him and her mother only increases. Ultimately, JD decides to flee her mother and Dr. Styron, convinced that they are not who they claim to be. A thrilling climax will likely whet readers' appetites for the next installment. Ages 8-up. (May)