Author: Thompson, Lisa
Nate and his mother are escaping from his emotionally abusive step-father, Gary, but the run-down and abandoned cottage in the woods that his mother takes them to does not seem like much of a refuge; but when his mother goes off to buy provisions and does not come back Nate is left alone (except for his imaginary friend Sam) and afraid--until a mysterious girl trying to solve the clues of a long-ago treasure hunt turns up.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 500672
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 75864
Kirkus Reviews (-) (10/15/18)
School Library Journal (00/12/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/01/2018 It’s quickly apparent to 11-year-old Nate that he and his mother are not taking an impromptu vacation like she said. Perhaps it’s her furtive glances or that they left the house before three in the morning. This, he learns, is actually their escape from Gary, his mom’s abusive boyfriend. Nate feels nervous in the remote, ramshackle cabin that’s to be their hideout, and when his mom goes out for groceries but never returns, his panic awakens his long-forgotten imaginary friend, Sam. Sam helps Nate cope with the situation and questions him about Gary, thus filling the reader in on important backstory. As Nate tries to devise innocuous reasons for his mom’s absence, a neighbor girl named Kitty enlists his help solving clues in an old area treasure hunt. Thompson’s eerie story is tense and threaded with mystery, and readers will recognize that Nate’s fears are legitimate ones born of an unsafe, fractured home. Thompson adeptly draws the story lines into a cohesive whole that rewards readers with a satisfyingly hard-won resolution. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.