Three kids, a pet pig and a helpful chauffeur must unravel a mystery of cosmic proportions.
Twelve-year-old Parker is struggling with his family’s move from England to upstate New York. Parker has a new nemesis. His inventor father has mounting job stress. Only his 10-year-old sister, Emma, seems to be acclimating. With a specialized program for the deaf at their school, friends and a new pet pig, she is thrilled. Keeping secrets in the Banks family is difficult, thanks to his father’s invention, which allows each of them to hear one another’s thoughts—but Parker’s father is hiding something from his family that could change everything if it comes to light. When Parker and Emma’s father disappears, the two siblings enlist Michael, a fellow victim of bullying and an uber-wealthy computer genius, to help them find him. Unfortunately the only people willing to lend a hand are a conspiracy theorist and a patient at a psychiatric hospital. Creative details, likable characters—Brendan, Michael’s chauffeur, stands out especially—and an X-Files–worthy mystery keep the pages turning, but it is the supportive and loving Banks family that makes this story shine. A surprise ending will encourage readers to think beyond the text and grapple with some real-world dilemmas.
Inventive, entertaining and thought-provoking. (Fantasy. 8-12)