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NORTH OF NOWHERE by Liz Kessler

NORTH OF NOWHERE

By Liz Kessler

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Aug. 6th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6727-6
Publisher: Candlewick

Thirteen-year-old Mia tries to solve the mystery of her grandfather’s disappearance and make a friend in this time-travel adventure exploring the lasting bonds of family.

When Mia’s grandfather vanishes without explanation from the remote
seaside town of Porthaven, Mia and her mom rush to Gran’s side. Missing her beloved Grandad yet unhappy at spending her term break in a place with neither Internet nor friends, Mia finds a diary aboard a docked fishing vessel and begins a correspondence with Dee, a potential friend. Why are all their plans to meet thwarted? Peter, on vacation with his family, attempts to go to Luffsands, the island where Dee lives, to bring her to the mainland—only to go missing himself as the boat and its odd compass travel back and forth between times 50 years apart. Kessler nicely captures Mia’s teen relationship with her mom and the thawing of her cool relationship with Gran. The storm that topples Luffsands’ homes into the sea resonates with today’s natural-disaster news. However, the time-travel logistics are confusing; the conclusion, although upbeat, is difficult to comprehend; and Mia’s attraction to Peter, once readers understand exactly who he is, is unsettling.

The story does not measure up to its intriguing title and inviting cover. (Fantasy. 10-14)