Missing

Author – Sue Whiting

Age – 10+

Mackenzie’s Mum is missing. She is a bat biologist and was last seen in Panama where she was working. Now living with her Dad and Nan, life is difficult.

Dad swings from days in bed, refusing to talk to anyone, to being determined to find her. But Mackenzie’s Uncle and Aunt have been to Panama and never found a trace.

Early one morning Mackenzie is woken by her Dad and told to stuff clothes in a pack. They are going to look for her Mum – without telling Nan. Sleepy and stunned, Mackenzie trails after her father, but soon finds herself alone as he falls back into his depression. Or is it? And what about the strange postcard she’s received? Was it from Mum or not?

Told in alternating chapters of before the disappearance and after, the tension steadily builds through this story. Mackenzie’s pain and confusion at her mother’s disappearance, her father’s depression and her Nan’s cryptic answers are well portrayed and the ending well constructed. When I first saw this book I thought it would be another girl missing story, but the mother missing was an intriguing difference.

(Adventure, Mystery, Grief, Family, Animals, Action, Courage)

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