Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 5-8-Strangers at first, 14-year-old Kip and 12-year-old Annie relate in alternating voices how they are drawn together in a bizarre drama involving Annie's 13-year-old sister, Grace. Playing a family tracking game of hide-and-seek on Point Nepean beach, Australia, Grace stops to rescue an injured penguin as a severe storm approaches. Annie protests and reaches for Grace as she slips off a rock cliff and vanishes into the roiling water. Meanwhile Kip, on another part of the beach, witnesses a boy jump out of a moving car, run past him, and vanish in the darkening turbulence. The car does not stop or turn around. The plot becomes more convoluted as Kip finds a backpack (Grace's) in the water and seeks shelter from the storm in the beach house of an aging alcoholic rock star. As events coalesce, Kip becomes a suspect in Grace's disappearance, yet redeems himself somewhat when he rescues the mysterious boy from near drowning. Readers of all abilities will appreciate the short, descriptive chapters; teachers and librarians will value the possibilities for discussion in this unusual mystery that's sure to prompt readers to examine the consequences of their choices.-D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
It is June, winter in Australia, and sisters Grace and Annie are playing hide-and-seek on the Point Nepean beach when Grace spots a baby penguin and follows it. An approaching storm forces the girls to scramble up the cliff to escape the rising tide. Annie makes it; Grace does not. Simultaneously, 14-year-old Kip, vacationing with his family, is walking along the point. As the fast-moving storm approaches and the sea roils, he spots a small child thrashing in the surf and jumps to the rescue. In parallel voices, Kip and Annie relate the story of Grace's disappearance; the police's suspicion of Kip; the even more suspicious behavior of Ted, a strange musician; and the horrible toll a child's disappearance takes on all involved. The story drifts into sometimes creepy innuendo, but there's less blood and gore than is common in thrillers for older teens, and the sinister plot will easily draw mystery lovers into this Australian import.--Bradburn, Frances Copyright 2007 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
The disappearance of a 12-year-old girl along the coast of Australia during a storm disrupts her family and a 14-year-old boy who accidentally becomes involved. Absorbed in a tracking game on the beach, Grace and her sister Annie get lost. With the tide rising, night approaching and rain falling, Annie insists on a short cut up the cliff where the reluctant Grace falls and vanishes when the cliff-side collapses. The same afternoon, Kip is on the beach when he discovers Grace's backpack floating in the water. Kip returns the backpack to Grace's frantic father and mentions seeing two figures on the beach earlier. The search for Grace ensues for days with full media attention, and police place the innocent Kip under surveillance. Determined to find Grace and exonerate himself, Kip has good intentions but doesn't use the best judgment. Meanwhile, Annie feels guilty she forced Grace to take the disastrous short cut and wonders what life will be like without her sister. Annie and Kip tell this riveting story of disappearance and search in alternating voices laced with insights about their own journey from innocence to experience. (Fiction. 11-15) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.