cover image Every Missing Piece

Every Missing Piece

Melanie Conklin. Little, Brown, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-368-04895-8

Eleven-year-old Maddy Gaines can’t help but imagine danger lurking around every corner. In the three years since a tragic accident took her father’s life, the anxious girl has become so well acquainted with the local emergency services as to be considered a nuisance, dialing 911 at any hint of trouble. Six months after a local boy is abducted, she discovers a seemingly similar child with a bruised face setting booby traps in a cemetery, but she decides that she must accumulate proof to be taken seriously. Maddy becomes friends with the boy despite his connection to her sworn enemy, with whom she is engaged in a territory war. Also on Maddy’s mind is getting along with her awkward new stepfather, whom she considers “the wrong piece for our puzzle,” and the way her best friend seems to be growing up faster than she is. Conklin’s well-paced narrative nimbly incorporates Maddy’s ever-present fear and lingering grief into a nuanced tale of a tween discovering that things aren’t always what they seem. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (May) [/em]