North of Nowhere

272p. Candlewick. 2013. RTE $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6727-6; ebook $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6910-2. LC 2012954327.
Gr 5–8—Mia is ready to spend her spring break relaxing at home with friends-until her grandfather abruptly disappears. With no choice but to travel with her mother to the lethargic seaside village of Porthaven to assist in the search, the 13-year-old is understandably upset about her disrupted plans. While walking her grandmother's dog on the beach one morning, she discovers an abandoned boat with a diary in the locker that seems to be written by a girl named "D." Mia is convinced that D sounds just like the friend she longs for, so she writes a note in the diary, and a correspondence ensues. When D fails to meet her at their agreed upon time, Mia and her new friend, Peter, set out to find her, but Mia is ordered home by her mother. Peter promises not to go alone, but then he disappears, and when she and his sister try to find him, they learn that D's island was destroyed 50 years ago during a storm. Kessler's story swells and builds at a fast pace, seemingly out of nowhere-just like a storm at sea often does. Elements of time travel make this complex page-turner tricky to follow at times; the reward comes at the end when all is explained. A thought-provoking adventure.—Lisa Kropp, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

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