When a classmate asks him to write her biography, 12-year-old Alistair Cleary never dreams the story will “change everything.”
Growing up in Thessaly, N.Y., in 1989, Alistair’s a good kid who hangs out with Nintendo-obsessed pal Charlie. His enigmatic classmate, neighbor Fiona, announces she’s chosen him to write her biography because he will “dig up the story beneath the story.” Fiona tells Alistair she can travel to a parallel world called Aquavania, where “stories are born” and children with imagination create their own unique worlds. However, the mysterious Riverman is causing children to disappear, and Fiona fears she’s next. Convinced Fiona’s bizarre story hides something bad in her real life, Alistair’s determined to protect her and unearth the truth. But what is the truth, especially when Fiona vanishes after warning Alistair about Charlie and swearing him to secrecy? Alistair’s first-person voice lends immediacy and realism to a haunting story, progressing in intensity from October 13 through November 20, as he discovers people are not who they seem to be and reality is much more than he imagined.
Lines between reality and fantasy blur in this powerful, disquieting tale of lost children, twisted friendship and the power of storytelling. (Fiction. 10-14)