Philomel. Aug. 2020. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984812292.
Gr 9 Up–In the summer of 1952, seven kids have volunteered for Skywatch club and they scan the sky looking for Russian threats in the midst of the Cold War. Close friends Teddy and John, along with pretty girl Caroline and New York transplant Bunny, chase mysterious lights into the woods, and days later only three of them return. As they struggle with not remembering what happened, they each discover a strange bump in their ear and skills they didn’t have before. Sci-fi aficionados and fellow club members Oscar and Frank decide the answer might be aliens, and offer to help the trio recover their memories and figure out why Teddy never came back. Each character is a richly created individual with issues in their past they are fighting to move beyond; including John, whose Japanese heritage has him trying to fit in, and Caroline, who lost her younger brother to drowning. The group learns they must trust and rely on one another if they are going to get to the truth. This book is an expertly crafted genre mash-up of sci-fi, historical fiction, and mystery, with a dash of thriller that will keep readers racing towards the end.
VERDICT A unique and original tale that will appeal to a wide variety of teens. A must-have for all teen collections.

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