cover image Following the Mystery Man

Following the Mystery Man

Mary Downing Hahn. Clarion Books, $13.95 (180pp) ISBN 978-0-89919-680-0

When Madigan was very young, her mother died of cancer; her father had walked out on their marriage long before that. Madigan has grown up at her grandmother's rooming house, and now she is a sixth grader, just like her friend Angie. They are young enough to get the giggles, old enough to wonder about the new man who has taken a room at Grandmother's. Clint is kind to them, and Madigan begins to think of him as her father, coming back to claim her after many years. But Clint has a much more dangerous pastone readers will comprehend by the middle of the bookand Madigan's fantasies are stripped away when he kidnaps her. She escapes from him and eventually is reunited with her grandmother, but berates herself for believing her father had returned. Like Angie, readers might scoff at Madigan's fanciful ideas, but because she is such an earnest, likable heroine, she makes her foolishness believable and the story retains suspense. Ages 9-13. (March)