ROSOFF, Meg. Picture Me Gone. 256p. Putnam. Oct. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-399-25765-0. LC 2012048974.
Gr 7-10–Rosoff is back with another young protagonist trying to navigate the confusing adult world. Mila, a middle schooler with a knack for tapping into others’ secret thoughts, travels to New York state from London with her father. Their original plan had been to visit with Matt, the family friend who once saved her father’s life, but he disappeared two days before their arrival, creating tension between Mila’s father, Gil, and Matt’s wife, Suzanne. Gil and Mila leave Suzanne and her young son behind as they search haphazardly around northern New York, looking for clues about Matt’s whereabouts. Along the way, Mila exchanges several texts with him and wrestles with keeping them secret from her father. As more characters are introduced, Matt’s reasons for leaving become even more clouded, and Mila’s father is implicated as an accomplice in the disappearance. Mila must keep her wits about her to get to the bottom of this complicated scenario. With strong characters and a well-articulated plot, Picture Me Gone is a welcome addition to any collection. The author accurately captures this mature adolescent’s view of adults without condescension or judgment, a feat worthy of praise. Complex issues are dealt with, and, true to the novel’s trajectory, a tidy ending would have been out of place. Rosoff does not disappoint.–Colleen S. Banick, Westport Public Schools, CT