A 2019 Junior Library Guild Selection
From the author of Edgar Award finalist Grit and The Lies They Tell comes a tense, atmospheric novel for readers of E. Lockhart and Marieke Nijkamp about friendship, truth, and the creeping fears that can’t be outrun.
Whenever another kid goes missing in October, the Pender kids know what is really behind it: a horrific monster out in the marshes they have named the Mumbler.
That’s what Clara’s new crew tells her when she moves to town: Bree and Sage, who take her under their wing; spirited Trace, who has taken the lead on this year’s Halloween prank war; and magnetic Kincaid, whose devil-may-care attitude and air of mystery are impossible for Clara to resist.
Clara doesn’t actually believe in the Mumbler. But as Halloween gets closer and tensions build in the town, it’s hard to shake the feeling that there really is something dark and dangerous in Pender, lurking in the shadows, waiting to bring the stories to life.
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Critical Praise for THE MISSING SEASON:
“Edgar finalist French (Grit, 2017) elevates this mystery beyond genre conventions with depth of characterization and an unyielding, low-level sense of anxiety that permeates the text from uneasy beginning to disquiet end. French’s spare, spectral thriller catches like a hook and doesn’t let go.” – Booklist (starred review) Read full review
“Every locale jumps from the page, imbued with magic and foreboding. Clara’s new relationships ring painfully true, both sharp and beautiful. Readers will burn through pages and be left haunted long after… A lyrically written, highly eerie slow-burn of a mystery.”– Kirkus Reviews
“Delightful creepiness and teen shenanigans quickly give way to darkly introspective and suspenseful self-discovery in French’s novel for teens…Bowstring-taut tension builds gracefully through the novel…The book’s strength, however, is offering readers plenty of authentically developed characters with whom they can identify, from teen pranksters to hardworking parents.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“A complex story filled with twists, turns and nuance… What I especially loved about this book was that it wove together stories of relationship, hardship and being the new kid with an undercurrent of suspense and wonder. A fun read.” – Bangor Metro
“A well-crafted mystery that’s also about what it’s like to be young… about being the new kid and having crushes and coming of age in the midst of a small town’s slow fade… The Missing Season is YA fiction at its finest, unafraid to be honest with its thoughts and themes while still offering up a compelling narrative.” – The Maine Edge
“…the foreboding atmosphere, rich setting, and gorgeous prose make for a rewarding read.” – School Library Journal
“French mines the real tension from the potential chaos brought about by a bunch of restless, bored kids in a nearly burnt-out town, chafing against their bad luck and reveling in their small acts of defiance.”– Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books