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Author: Valentine, Jenny
When sixteen-year-old Chap is mistaken for a missing boy, he leaves the home where he has been living temporarily and takes on this new identity, not knowing that it is as dangerous and uncertain as the life he has left behind.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 3.50
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 150028
Common Core Standards
Grade 8 → Reading → RL Literature → 8.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 8 → Reading → CCR College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/01/12)
School Library Journal (02/01/12)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (03/12)
The Hornbook (00/01/12)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2012 Gr 9 Up—Sixteen-year-old Chap has no past and no family. When he is mistaken for a missing teen, Cassiel Roadnight, whose family has been searching for him for two years, Chap sees an opportunity for a new identity. The circumstance seems like a gift from the universe: food, a warm bed, security, love. But is he willing to give up his freedom to maintain a lie? Chap soon discovers that he has become part of a dysfunctional family with plenty of secrets about themselves, Cassiel, and even Chap. As Chap struggles to maintain his adopted personality, he is thrust into the role of detective, slowly uncovering the truth of Cassiel's disappearance and the Roadnights' unusual dynamics, a position that eventually helps him discover things about his own past, family, and name. As in Me, the Missing, and the Dead (HarperTeen, 2008), Valentine shows her skill at creating a teen detective story in which external and internal mysteries must be simultaneously solved. The intense story is full of twists, and the conflicts are complex. Fans of psychological thrillers will not be disappointed with this dark and danger-filled tale.—Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2012 In a case of mistaken identity, homeless 16-year-old Chap is thought to be a missing boy who is his exact double. When he is welcomed into the boy’s home, Chap decides to play along with the misunderstanding because it offers him what he has always wanted: a family. But how long can he safely maintain his ruse, since this particular family comes freighted down with a full complement of dark secrets, some of which may prove to be deadly? Will Chap be able to stay out of harm’s way or will he, too, go missing? Valentine’s latest novel, long-listed for Britain’s prestigious Carnegie Medal, is a fast-paced and suspenseful mystery that is also an examination of one teen’s urgent struggle to discover his identity. Though not without its implausibilities and weighted down by a lengthy stretch of exposition near the end, the story remains a page-turning read that will attract teen mystery buffs. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 03/01/2012 After landing in a hostel for down and out kids in London, our protagonist is recognized as Cassiel Roadnight, a boy who went missing two years ago at the age of fourteen. Cassiel’s mother is thrilled through her haze of sedatives; Cassiel’s sister, Edie, tempers her delight with anger but is also ecstatic; Cassiel’s older brother greets him with warmth and a willingness to overlook the past. The first problem is that our protagonist is not actually Cassiel, just a dead ringer with an absence of home and identity due to the strangeness of his upbringing by his long-gone caretaker. The second problem is that he’s walked into more danger than he’s escaped, because Cassiel’s home hides a treacherous secret bigger than his own. Valentine has superb control over her story, feeding reader suspicion in various directions as the tale unfolds and ensuring there’s still plenty of taut mystery even when it’s clear the protagonist couldn’t be Cassiel. The book gains additional emotional traction from the fact that the narrator is actually a better guy than Cassiel was and that his deception is benefiting Cassiel’s broken family as well as saving himself. The suspense and sympathy play off of each other and the human dynamics are authentic, so the stakes remain high enough throughout to support the dramatic backstory revelations. Fans of psychodramas and family mysteries will rejoice in finding a book that’s as effective in the unwinding as in the original twist. DS - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.