Picture Me Gone

( 3 )

Overview

Printz Award-winning author Meg Rosoff's latest novel is a gorgeous and unforgettable page-turner about the relationship between parents and children, love and loss. A National Book Award finalist!

Mila has an exceptional talent for reading a room—sensing hidden facts and unspoken emotions from clues that others overlook. So when her father’s best friend, Matthew, goes missing from his upstate New York home, Mila and her beloved father travel from London to find him. She ...

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Picture Me Gone

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Overview

Printz Award-winning author Meg Rosoff's latest novel is a gorgeous and unforgettable page-turner about the relationship between parents and children, love and loss. A National Book Award finalist!

Mila has an exceptional talent for reading a room—sensing hidden facts and unspoken emotions from clues that others overlook. So when her father’s best friend, Matthew, goes missing from his upstate New York home, Mila and her beloved father travel from London to find him. She collects information about Matthew from his belongings, from his wife and baby, from the dog he left behind and from the ghosts of his past—slowly piecing together the story everyone else has missed. But just when she’s closest to solving the mystery, a shocking betrayal calls into question her trust in the one person she thought she could read best. 
 
* “Teeming with complex adult problems—infidelity, marital collapse, the death of a child—this thought-provoking coming-of-age story requires that readers be at least as mature as Mila as she confronts unpleasant truths. … Mila’s sharp observations of the people she meets and the winter landscape add a fresh, poetic aura to her discoveries and the novel as a whole.” —Publishers Weekly starred review
 

• “With strong characters and a well-articulated plot, Picture Me Gone is a welcome addition to any collection. The author accurately captures this mature adolescent's view of adults without condescension or judgment, a feat worthy of praise. Complex issues are dealt with, and, true to the novel's trajectory, a tidy ending would have been out of place. Rosoff does not disappoint.”—School Library Journal starred review
 

• “A brilliant depiction of the complexity of human relationships in a story that's at once contemplative and suspenseful.” —Kirkus starred review

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 08/26/2013
Twelve-year-old Mila has remarkable powers of observation, but even more impressive is her insight into people’s minds. This may be why her college-professor father takes her with him from London to America to track down his oldest friend, who has suddenly disappeared, leaving his wife and young son behind. The mission, which takes them through upstate New York, is more complicated than Mila expects, with clues not quite adding up and disturbing secrets unveiled, including the realization that her father hasn’t been entirely honest. Teeming with complex adult problems—infidelity, marital collapse, the death of a child—this thought-provoking coming-of-age story requires that readers be at least as mature as Mila as she confronts unpleasant truths. Yet Rosoff’s (There Is No Dog) writing isn’t all gloom and doom. Mila’s sharp observations of the people she meets and the winter landscape add a fresh, poetic aura to her discoveries and the novel as a whole. “The sun is shining, the sky impossible blue,” she thinks. “The world looks so dazzling, I almost can’t bear to look at it.” Ages 12–up. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta, Zoe Pagnamenta Agency. (Oct.)
VOYA - Stephanie Wilkes
Mila is a problem solver and a good one at that, able to read body language and unspeakable emotions from others. When her father's friend, Matthew, goes missing from his upstate New York home, Mila and her father travel from London to the States to try to solve the bizarre disappearance. When Mila and her father arrive in the States, they are greeted by Matthew's wife and baby, and a dog left behind, yet Mila cannot put together the pieces of the puzzle. After many trips revisiting Matthew's harrowed past, Mila finds out that those she trusted in life the most are capable of betrayal. Despite beautiful descriptive language, this novel is a bit much for the young adult crowd. At times condescending of American culture and at other times existential in tone, Mila's uncanny sense of people through their eyes, mannerisms, and actions evokes an empathy that many teens have yet to discover, and at times Mila seems much beyond her years, while at others, extremely immature. These character lapses make the book difficult to read and come across as slightly pretentious. There are many unanswered questions that the conclusion does not resolve and while many advanced readers may appreciate this novel, it is not one that will be readily picked up by a casual reader. Reviewer: Stephanie Wilkes
School Library Journal
★ 10/01/2013
Gr 7–10—Rosoff is back with another young protagonist trying to navigate the confusing adult world. Mila, a middle schooler with a knack for tapping into others' secret thoughts, travels to New York state from London with her father. Their original plan had been to visit with Matt, the family friend who once saved her father's life, but he disappeared two days before their arrival, creating tension between Mila's father, Gil, and Matt's wife, Suzanne. Gil and Mila leave Suzanne and her young son behind as they search haphazardly around northern New York, looking for clues about Matt's whereabouts. Along the way, Mila exchanges several texts with him and wrestles with keeping them secret from her father. As more characters are introduced, Matt's reasons for leaving become even more clouded, and Mila's father is implicated as an accomplice in the disappearance. Mila must keep her wits about her to get to the bottom of this complicated scenario. With strong characters and a well-articulated plot, Picture Me Gone is a welcome addition to any collection. The author accurately captures this mature adolescent's view of adults without condescension or judgment, a feat worthy of praise. Complex issues are dealt with, and, true to the novel's trajectory, a tidy ending would have been out of place. Rosoff does not disappoint.—Colleen S. Banick, Westport Public Schools, CT
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-08-15
Mila, 12, a keen observer of people and events, accompanies her translator father, Gil, on a journey from London to upstate New York in search of Gil's lifelong friend, who's disappeared. Mila applies her puzzle-solving skills to the mystery of why Matthew would abandon his wife and baby, not to mention his dog. On a road trip to Matthew's cabin in the woods, she mulls over the possibilities while Gil keeps his thoughts to himself. Mila, who finds strength in her multinational pedigree and her ability to read people, is the one who eventually puts the pieces of the story together. Rosoff respects her young character, portraying her as a complete person capable of recognizing that there are things she may not yet know but aware that life is a sometimes-painful sequence of clues to be put together, leading to adulthood. The author skillfully turns to a variety of literary devices to convey this transition: the absence of quotation marks blurs the line between thoughts spoken and unspoken; past, present, and future merge in Mila's telling just as they do in the lives of the characters as truths come to light and Mila is able to translate Matthew's darkest secrets. A brilliant depiction of the complexity of human relationships in a story that's at once contemplative and suspenseful. (Fiction. 11 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399257650
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 10/3/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 39,364
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

Meg Rosoff (www.megrosoff.co.uk) was born in Boston and currently lives in London with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel, How I Live Now, won the Michael L. Printz Award and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Her second novel, Just in Case, won the 2007 CILIP Carnegie Medal and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. What I Was, Rosoff’s third novel, was short-listed for the 2008 CILIP Carnegie Medal. Her previous novel with Penguin, There Is No Dog, received four starred reviews.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2014

    Extremely good book but confusing text structure...

    I really liked the amazing plot of the story, but one con made me take off one star from the rating. The dialouge had no quotation marks or commas! I can understand the author wanted to have flow throughout the book, but I found it hard to interpret and compute betlween regular dialouge and the author's thinking. This book would have more meaning when the punctuation is added in. Text structure/flow~ :-(

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  • Posted January 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I am an adult and read this teen fiction in no time. It is defi

    I am an adult and read this teen fiction in no time. It is definitely a page turner. I could not put it down. Gorgeously written in a way that you feel like you are living the story. I can't wait to read more of Meg Rosoff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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