Little, Brown. May 2022. 368p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780316669313.
Gr 4-8–It’s June 2015 and 12-year-old Maren is not all that excited to be attending the Charlotte Goodman Theater Camp for the summer. However, Maren is soon drawn into a mystery involving a series of clues that may lead to the missing diamond ring of Charlotte “Charlie” Goodman, the famous director who was said to perish in a fire and for whom the camp is named. Maren soon befriends aspiring filmmaker Theo, and together they begin to unravel the mystery, hoping to find the ring to save the camp, which needs funding. The novel deftly tackles serious topics like depression, homophobia, and transphobia. It also is wonderfully inclusive, as Theo is nonbinary and Charlie is gender nonconforming. Key wisely uses Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night as the backdrop for her narrative, serving as the camp’s main theater production, the basis for the clues for the mystery, and as the lost film Charlie had been working on before her demise. The story includes flashbacks to Charlie in the 1940s and 1950s, interspersed between Maren’s chapters, which are set in June 2015, only weeks before gay marriage was made legal. End notes feature facts on theater, film, and LGBTQIA+ history as well as information on ways readers can seek help if they are struggling with depression.
VERDICT A engrossing mystery with a diverse cast of characters; an insightful exploration of the topics of gender, depression, and sexuality; and a satisfying and comprehensive conclusion. Highly recommended.

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