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The Mystery of Hollow Places

by Rebecca Podos

Published by Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins, 2016
291 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-237334-2

13 and older

When Imogene’s famous mystery-writer dad disappears without warning, her stepmother, a therapist who knows her husband’s fragile mental health history, wants to make the search public rather than relying only on police. But Imogene talks her out of it, secretly convinced that her dad has gone to search for her long-absent mother, whom Imogene knows little about. With the help of her best friend, and the friend’s college-age older brother on whom Imogene has a crush, Imogene applies everything she’s learned reading her dad’s books to find her mom, because in doing so she believes she’ll find her dad. A novel that works as genre fiction is also a coming-of-age story in which Imogene’s search leads to the agonizing, honest truth that the people we love are imperfect, sometimes even fragile. Hints of romance fizzle realistically while so much else blossoms, from Imogene’s relationship with her stepmother to her understanding of frailty and forgiveness and the expansive nature of family. Mixed-race Imogene is part Chinese American. (Age 13 and older)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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