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THE MISSING GIRL by Norma Fox Mazer Kirkus Star


by Norma Fox Mazer

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-06-623776-3
Publisher: HarperTeen

Mazer’s latest novel would give Alfred Hitchock a run for his money. The five Herbert sisters, who bear names evoking innocence (Beauty, Mim, Fancy, Autumn and Stevie), are observed by a nameless adult male who mentally sorts them to select one as prey. The acclaimed young-adult author tells her story from different points of view as each girl reveals secrets and dreams, but the stalker’s creepy thought process, often covering fewer than two pages, is absolutely spellbinding. Mazer skillfully delineates the girls’ emergence from childhood (one sister recalls skating on a frozen pond, another sews a button on a stuffed animal) by contrasting horrifying scenes of the abducted sister held prisoner by the predator. Short chapters move the story along at a brisk clip, but whispered secrets revealing love desires of two older sisters seemed to be a tacked-on device that fades away unresolved. These minor complaints are not a distraction, and a ten-second booktalk will ignite teen buzz for this outstanding work. (Fiction. YA)