When 13-year-old Regan’s mother disappears, the girl is forced to fend for herself as she desperately tries to figure out whom she can trust.
It is not the first time her mother has gone away, but as the weeks roll by, Regan is fearful that she is gone for good. Hungry, frightened and tired, Regan must navigate the dangerous inner-city streets alone. Determined to find her mother, she finds shelter wherever she can, whether it is under a bridge or in a run-down squat. Regan dodges dangerous street people, hostile men who claim her mother has stolen from them, and even the police and social workers who want to lock her away in a group home. Gritty details paint the horrific landscape and give faces to the desperate people who populate this hidden world. The premise of Regan’s story has all the hallmarks of a wonderful study of resilience. Unfortunately, clunky prose and affected dialogue keep this story from rising above others with similar themes. Readers will quickly grow weary of the repetitive plot and flat characters. Regan, with her hopefulness and determination, is the only bright light in an otherwise gray landscape.
Underdeveloped writing collides with a too-familiar plot. (Fiction. 10-14)