cover image I'm Not Who You Think I Am

I'm Not Who You Think I Am

Peg Kehret, Pete The Cat. Dutton Books, $15.99 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-525-46153-1

Ginger Shaw first senses she is being watched at her 13th birthday party in a restaurant, and the suspicion seems borne out when an odd woman approaches her. During the next several days (while her parents are conveniently out of town), Ginger sees the stranger wherever she goes. Readers gain information about the stalker early on, when a shift in the narrative identifies her as Joyce Enderly, a former mental patient who believes that Ginger is her long-lost daughter. Joyce's plot to abduct Ginger begins to take shape as Ginger becomes involved in a crusade to prevent a harassed basketball coach from losing his job; the conflict distracts her, to some extent, from Joyce's presence. However, readers may find the somewhat overblown school conflict a distraction as well, as Kehret's (Searching for Candlestick Park) focus shifts awkwardly between the two plot lines. Thriller buffs may be disappointed by the thin characterizations and contrivances, but Ginger, at least, is strong and sensible, and most readers will want to stick around long enough to see how she escapes Joyce's clutches. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)