“Readers will be entranced by this exceptional offering.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) “By turns a mystery, a thriller, and an adventure, this richly woven story will provide much for readers to tease apart long after it’s finished.” —Booklist (starred review) “Thought-provoking and intense.” —Kirkus Reviews “A survival story in its truest sense.” —BCCB
The threat of two escaped convicts and a missing friend lead Lizzie on a harrowing journey through the wilds of the Adirondacks in this captivating mystery from National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart.
Thirteen-year-old Lizzie’s favorite place in the world is her uncle’s cabin. Uncle Davy’s renovated schoolhouse cabin, filled with antiques and on the edge of the Adirondacks, disconnected from the rest of the world, is like something out of a fairy tale. And an escape from reality is exactly what Lizzie needs. Life hasn’t been easy for Lizzie lately. Her father abandoned their family, leaving Lizzie with her oftentimes irresponsible mother. Now, her mom has cancer and being unable to care for Lizzie during her chemotherapy, asks Lizzie where she’d like to spend the summer. The answer is simple: Uncle Davy’s cabin.
Lizzie loves her uncle’s home for many reasons, but the main one is Matias, Uncle Davy’s neighbor and Lizzie’s best friend. Matias has proportionate dwarfism, but that doesn’t stop him and Lizzie from wandering in the woods. Every day they go to their special spot where Matias paints with watercolors and Lizzie writes. Until one day when Matias never arrives.
When news breaks about two escaped convicts from the nearby prison, Lizzie fears the worst. And when Uncle Davy goes missing, too, Lizzie knows she’s the only one who knows this area of woods well enough to save them. Armed with her trusted Keppy survival book, Lizzie sets out into the wilds of the Adirondacks, proving just how far she’ll go to save the people she loves.
Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of books for both adults and young readers. Her most recent novel, Wild Blues, was named an ALA Youth Editor’s Choice. She lives in Devon, Pennsylvania, and she teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Pennsylvania.