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PAIGE NOT FOUND by Jen Wilde Kirkus Star


by Jen Wilde

Pub Date: April 16th, 2024
ISBN: 9781338880564
Publisher: Scholastic

Autistic kids from New York discover they’ve been part of a billionaire’s experiment.

Eleven-year-old Paige doesn’t know what to think when an email with the subject “Paige Wells Daily Report” pops up on her dad’s laptop. She shouldn’t read her dad’s email, but he’s sleeping, and this is about her, after all. The email contains a GPS map of everywhere she’s been that day as well as charts showing her heart rate and blood sugar, dopamine, and serotonin levels. She’s not going to ask her parents for the truth, especially not after her dad yells at her to “Be a normal kid!” But Paige’s best friend figures it out: Paige has a secret experimental chip in her head made by tech startup Nucleus. She didn’t actually have her tonsils out when she was 7; instead, they put the mind-controlling Dot in her brain—and it’s getting a software upgrade this Friday as part of Nucleus’ merger with social media company Homepage. The device is made by Elliot Preston, a contentious billionaire who enjoys Twitter feuds. Is Nucleus controlling her mind? Will it leak her private thoughts and feelings on social media? Armed with a list of other autistic kids who have Dots, Paige sets out to find them and stop Preston from experimenting on and profiting from their brains. This exciting story offers validation, intrigue, and diverse representation. Paige, who’s white, is closeted nonbinary and queer.

An empowering kids-versus-corporation quest packed full of disability pride.

(Science fiction. 8-12)