cover image The Exact Location of Home

The Exact Location of Home

Kate Messner. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-68119-548-3

First seen in Messner’s first novel, The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z., Kirby “Zig” Zigonski loves tinkering and appreciates the way that “everything fits” in a simple electrical circuit. Zig lives with his mother, who both works and is studying to become a nurse, but he can’t wait to see his father, who travels for his real estate business. When his father cancels an upcoming visit and Zig’s mother won’t say why, Zig decides to track down his dad using an old GPS unit and following clues he believes his father is leaving in geocache stashes around town. When Zig and his mother are evicted and forced to move into a shelter, Zig is caught between shame, anger, and a determination to find his father. Messner delivers a sensitive and realistic portrayal of financial stress, the realities of living in a shelter, and how both take a toll. Zig’s crush on Gianna and the mystery surrounding Zig’s father will keep readers hooked, but it’s his bonds with his mother and friends that will stay with them. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (Sept) [/em]