Vanish

Vanish

by Karen Spafford-Fitz
     
 

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Fourteen-year-old Simone is having trouble making friends at her new school when her leadership studies class is paired with kindergarten students to mentor throughout the school year. To her surprise, Simone enjoys the Kinderbuddy Project, and she develops a special friendship with her Kinderbuddy, Lily. But as the bond between Simone and her Kinderbuddy grows,

Overview

Fourteen-year-old Simone is having trouble making friends at her new school when her leadership studies class is paired with kindergarten students to mentor throughout the school year. To her surprise, Simone enjoys the Kinderbuddy Project, and she develops a special friendship with her Kinderbuddy, Lily. But as the bond between Simone and her Kinderbuddy grows, she realizes that a crisis is looming in Lily's family. Simone calls upon Aaron, the reluctant heartthrob of the class, for help, and they become key witnesses to events neither of them could have predicted.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this addition to the Orca Currents line, written at a third-grade reading level, eighth-grader Simone and a few of her classmates get involved with their school’s Kinderbuddies program, which helps mentor kindergarten students. Simone hits it off with a girl named Lily, but it quickly becomes clear that Lily’s home life is not what it seems. Spafford-Fitz has constructed a light but tense mystery—readers may well guess where things are going before Simone does—and offers strong, realistic portrayals of both the eighth-grade and kindergarten students, especially Simone, who has trouble making friends her own age but is great with kids. Ages 10–14. (Mar.)
CM Magazine
"A reluctant reader book that should be in libraries."
Booklist
"Teens will identify with Simone’s attempts to make new friends in the unfriendly environment of middle school...Younger readers will enjoy the slight mystery, and the rapid narrative will engage reluctant readers."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
"A fast-paced book that tackles a hard issue in a surprisingly minimal amount of pages. The dialogue adds to the storyline and helps to make the characters endearing...A great story for reluctant readers."
VOYA - Courtney M. Krieger
The Orca Currents series includes middle school fiction geared toward reluctant readers. In Vanish, fourteen-year-old Simone has just moved to a new school and is having trouble making friends. When her leadership class implements a Kinderbuddy Project, she meets Lily. As their friendship grows, Simone notices things in Lily's life that simply do not add up. The book is fast-paced and easy to read. Vanish offers readers a complex plot and characters by addressing dysfunctional families, cliques, and belonging. Spafford-Fitz weaves the subplots together effortlessly to create a rich reading experience. With the larger print, interesting stories, and compelling characters, the books in this series encourage reluctant readers to read. They would be a positive addition to any library or classroom. (Orca Currents) Reviewer: Courtney M. Krieger
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Both hi/lo titles deal with loneliness and isolation in high school and move at a brisk pace, but Vanish is the more successful title. When Danny invents a new persona on the Facebook knockoff site FaceSpace in hopes of increasing his popularity, he has difficulty managing both profiles. With phrases like "hey pal" and "partying is excellent" spoken throughout, the dialogue is unrealistic. Although dishonest online behavior is an important teen issue, it is dealt with in a superficial way here. In Vanish, 14-year-old Simone has just moved to a new school and is having difficulty making friends when, because of a class assignment, she forms a special bond with kindergartener Lily. As they start spending time together, Simone learns more about Lily's suspicious home life and starts to mistrust her divorced, bickering parents. While readers should be able to guess the ending before it arrives, Spafford-Fitz successfully builds the mood as she gradually reveals more about Lily's family.—Carrie Shaurette, Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781459803558
Publisher:
Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
03/01/2013
Pages:
131
Product dimensions:
4.40(w) x 7.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
580L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Karen Spafford-Fitz grew up in an old limestone farmhouse near Kingston, Ontario where her early training as a writer involved reading thousands of books. In fact, it was impossible to walk across her bedroom without stubbing a toe on Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, and her father's old Lone Ranger books.

Eager to read more, Karen studied English Language and Literature at Queen's University. She followed that up with a degree in Education and went on to teach elementary and junior high students for eight years. Two daughters and a move across the country later, Karen began creating her own stories for children and teenagers. Dog Walker is her first middle-grade novel.

When Karen is not writing in her Edmonton studio, she is often running with her rambunctious German shepherd, who helps Karen train for her next half marathon. Karen also enjoys speaking to students about the inspiration for her stories, the creative process and the writing life.

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