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Missing
     

Missing

5.0 2
by Becky Citra
 

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Thea and her dad are always on the move, from one small Cariboo town to another, trying to leave behind the pain of Thea's mom's death. They never stay long enough in one place for Thea to make friends, but when her dad gets work renovating a guest ranch on Gumboot Lake, she dares to hope that their wandering days are over. At the ranch she makes friends with Van,

Overview

Thea and her dad are always on the move, from one small Cariboo town to another, trying to leave behind the pain of Thea's mom's death. They never stay long enough in one place for Thea to make friends, but when her dad gets work renovating a guest ranch on Gumboot Lake, she dares to hope that their wandering days are over. At the ranch she makes friends with Van, a local boy, and works hard to build the trust of an abused horse named Renegade. When Thea unearths the decades-old story of a four-year-old girl who disappeared from the ranch and was never seen again, she enlists Van to help her solve the mystery. When some disturbing facts come to light, she finally starts to come to terms with the losses in her own life.

Editorial Reviews

Canadian Children's Book News
"The action begins right away, and the tension is kept tight with hints and foreshadowing...The mystery thoughtfully leads readers through themes of guilt, jealousy and death...Missing is a considered and thoughtful novel for horse-lovers and non-horse-lovers alike."
Canadian Teacher
"Citra's thirty years' experience of ranch life and horses shines as does her powerful writing. The descriptions engage the senses. The pacing will keep the targeted readers out of breath as they quickly turn the pages to find out what happens next. The characters are engaging and alive."
Washington State Young Adult Review Group
"The mysery is engaging...and the story will appeal to reluctant readers, especially horse-loving girls."
Library Media Connection
"The novel provides just enough foreshadowing that readers will enjoy piecing together the mystery. The theme of fitting in and finding acceptance will resonate...Recommended."
CM Magazine
"The storyline's chilling recollections of sibling rivalry, and dramatic moments...should keep readers engrossed. The plot, which is established early, immediately draws the reader into the characters' lives, while the descriptions of Thea's observations and surroundings (especially those of the ranch owner's travel photography and Van's grandfather's realistic carved birds) captivate the senses...Recommended."
Booklist
"The intersection of Thea's mysterious past with a cold-case mystery she stumbles upon in her latest stay deep in the Cariboo wilderness is compellingly told in Thea's first-person narrative...The theme of finding yourself by letting yourself care for another is subtly and richly conveyed. Citra has written several books for the Orca Young Readers series; fans who are now older should flock to this gripping novel."
Teen Reviewer for VOYA
"Missing succeeds in winning over hearts with a passion for horses. It is easy to connect with the main character, Thea, due to her curiosity and courage as she faces some of the typical problems of a teenage life. The book is an easy read, has a terrific plot, and comes together nicely because of its great presentation...It would be most appealing to middle school students. It is time, as Thea would say, to find a comfortable place to curl up with a good book."
VOYA - Nancy Pierce
Thirteen-year-old Thea has been on the move with her father for the last four years, never staying in one place very long. Thea's mother left the family and was later killed in a horse-riding accident, leaving Thea very much alone. When Thea's father, Dusty, is offered a job as a handyman at the Double R Guest Ranch in Cariboo, British Columbia, there is hope for some consistency. And when Thea discovers the horse Renegade in the stables, she makes him her project. But as Thea explores the ranch, she stumbles upon old photos and guest books that indicate that something tragic happened there years ago. Research reveals that a young girl went missing and that the grandfather of Van, Thea's new friend, was a suspect. And when a mysterious British visitor comes to stay at the ranch, Thea begins to wonder if she can provide the missing clues to solve the mystery at the Double R. Missing is a quick and engaging read. Readers who live with one parent, lost a parent, or feel like outsiders will especially be able to relate to the main character, Thea. Obviously, the author knows quite a bit about horses, as she describes how the main character grooms and trains Renegade. Also, readers who are drawn to mysteries will find it interesting to try to put the pieces together of a crime that remained unsolved for more than fifty years. Young readers will appreciate the speed with which the plot develops, and the clearly—if briefly—drawn characters. The foreshadowing is pretty heavy here, but that could be just what some reluctant readers need to keep turning pages. Reviewer: Nancy Pierce
VOYA - Ishita Mehta
Citra's Missing succeeds in winning over hearts with a passion for horses. It is easy to connect with the main character, Thea, due to her curiosity and courage as she faces some of the typical problems of a teenage life. The book is an easy read, has a terrific plot, and comes together nicely because of its great presentation. Although the story line is predictable at times, it is not too cheesy. It would be most appealing to middle school students. It is time, as Thea would say, to find a comfortable place to curl up with a good book. Reviewer: Ishita Mehta, Teen Reviewer
Children's Literature - Elizabeth D. Schafer
Eighth grader Thea Taylor dislikes constantly moving after her mother died in a riding accident. Because she frequently transfers schools, Thea does not encourage anyone to befriend her, and prefers sitting alone reading horse books. Thea is ecstatic when Stan "Tully" Tulworth, new owner of the Double R Ranch in the Cariboo region of British Columbia, Canada, hires her father to prepare that property adjacent to Gumboot Lake for customers. While cleaning the ranch's lodge, Thea finds guest books documenting previous visitors' experiences with photographs and newspaper clippings, including articles about the unsolved disappearance of toddler Livia Willard almost six decades earlier. When Thea discovers a skittish horse in the barn's corral, Tully explains the previous owner abandoned Renegade because the horse is wild. Thea decides to tame Renegade. Marion Wilson, an enigmatic guest from England, offers Thea advice based on her experiences training horses. Van, a neighbor and classmate, takes Thea on boat rides to see his favorite places around the lake. Thea tells Van about Livia, and they investigate, seeking clues at the local museum and questioning his grandparents who had worked at the ranch when Livia vanished. The equestrian author convincingly creates scenes in which Thea interacts with Renegade. Character and plot development effectively depict Thea's increasing self-confidence and trust in her father and friends of varying ages. As Thea searches for Livia, suspense builds. Both horse and mystery fans will enjoy Jane Smiley's A Good Horse (2010) and Jean Slaughter Doty's Dark Horse (1983) which offer similar themes of determination, resilience, and resourcefulness. Reviewer: Elizabeth D. Schafer
School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—After her mother dies in a horseback-riding accident, Thea's father moves them from town to town in an effort not only to escape the thought of her death but of her infidelity, too. The eighth-grader misses her old friends and finds it difficult to make new ones. A lucky break occurs when her dad lands a job fixing up a rundown guest ranch. But something is not quite right here. Not only does Thea discover a neglected, abused, and mistrustful horse in the barn, but she also finds records that a four-year-old girl disappeared many years ago under mysterious and sinister circumstances. Through developing a trusting and loving relationship with the horse, Renegade, she is able to unravel unspoken issues about her parents. When Thea meets Van, a classmate, she finds an ally in tracking down clues as to what really happened to Livia. Citra's writing style tends toward being overly straightforward, but the story is fast moving and compelling enough once the mystery of Livia's disappearance commences. The concurrent story line of Thea's maturing relationships with those around her add another layer of interest.—Diane McCabe, Loyola Village Elementary School, Los Angeles
Kirkus Reviews
After several years of rootlessness following her mother's death, Thea and her Dad start to find a home for themselves when he takes a job renovating an old guest ranch in the Canadian Cariboo. Thea likes the ranch owner, who plans to breed Quarter horses, and she makes friends with a boy her age, Van, who lives across the lake. She's not sure what to do about Renegade, the neglected horse that came with the property—horses belong to the life she had when her mother was alive. When a guest shows up to stay at the ranch, Thea slowly starts to connect her to the mysterious death of a little girl that occurred over 50 years ago. Citra's writing is solid, and Thea is strong and appealing, but the story feels split. The mystery takes up most of the pages, but the horses seem to take up most of the emotion, and the two sides don't blend. Parts of the horse story don't make sense. Why would Renegade still be on property left empty for three years? Why do the adults, all professional horsemen, leave him entirely alone? Thea's Dad's character is inconsistently developed and muddled, and it's not clear why Thea is supposed to be angrier with her mother than with him. Even with all that, it's not bad overall, but still—better to tell only one story and do it well. (Mystery. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554693450
Publisher:
Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/2011
Pages:
184
Sales rank:
914,003
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

"I like being alone," I say. "Honestly. Groups just aren't my thing. It's actually fun not having friends."

I don't know why I said that. It was supposed to be funny, but it sounds pathetic. Van's face is more transparent even than mine. He doesn't embarrass easily but he definitely looks annoyed.

"I don't think sarcasm suits you," he says stiffly.

I'm tired of talking about this. I stand up and stretch. "Have you ever seen Renegade?" I ask.

"Who's Renegade?" says Van.

"A horse," I say. "Come on."

Meet the Author

Becky Citra is the author of over twenty books, ranging from early chapter books to novels for young adults. She was an elementary schoolteacher for over twenty–five years and began writing for children in 1995. Becky's books have been shortlisted for and won many awards, including the Red Cedar Award, the Diamond Willow, the Silver Birch and the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize. For more information, visit www.beckycitra.com.

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Missing 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book at the end it is a little sad but very good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im a 6 grade girl and i love 2 4 fun. I read this book 4 a school project. My job is to write a summary of this book, so here it goes. The summary of this book is this: 4 years after thea's mom died, thea (short 4 theadora) and her dad dusty move 2 a small town called cariboo. Dusty gets an offer from stan tulworth (aka tully) at a guest ranch tully just bought. After a while thea uncovers an old mystery about a 4 year old girl that went missing nearly 60 years ago. She becomes friends with a local boy, van while trying 2 build a relationship and trust with an abused horse. Hope u guys liked that. By the way i post ALOT of comments so look 4 my comments never know what important news i have!!!!