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THE NIGHT MY SISTER WENT MISSING by Carol Plum-Ucci

THE NIGHT MY SISTER WENT MISSING

By Carol Plum-Ucci

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-15-204758-1
Publisher: Harcourt

Shots fired from a gun passed hand-to-hand around a group of teens on a rickety dock are blamed for the disappearance and possible death of Casey Carmody, the impulsive younger sister of Kurt, the popular member of the in-crowd. Witnesses claim Casey fell or dove into the ocean after the gun went off, so Kurt and his best friend Drew spend one long night eavesdropping on the police as they question Kurt’s friends at the station and search for the body along the beach. Truths, lies, jealousy and rumors all come out in the wash in this occasionally tedious and preachy offering from a Printz Honor author. Plum-Ucci resurrects many themes that will be already be familiar to her fans: disappearance, the hurtful effects of gossip and lies, the power of the teen peer group, the ocean as a source of mystery and danger and the idea of convenient recollection. Though relevant, here they barely escape coming off as recycled, rather than reinvented. Characterizations feel less realized than previous works. However, Plum-Ucci’s mastery at intensifying their observations into something dire and ominous speeds the plot along and should keep readers wondering just how this convoluted mystery will wrap up. (Fiction. YA)