North of Nowhere
By: Liz Kessler
Liz Kessler, author of the bestselling Emily Windsnap series, is a wizard at writing magical realism (pun intended 😉). Her strength is writing about contemporary, real-life girls who stumble upon a bit of magic in the real world. North of Nowhere is quite possibly my favorite book I’ve read from Kessler.
So as not to give away too much (the book is a mystery – the best kind of magical realism, in my opinion), I’ll only leave you with this: tweenager Mia’s grandfather goes missing in a rainy fishing town, but as always, there’s more to his disappearance than meets the eye.
Who will love this book: Readers of Sharon Creech’s Walk Two Moons
While Mia searches for her grandfather, she discovers a new friend – or really, a new pen-pal – who lives in the same sleepy fishing town in which she’s stuck. But why is this new friend just a pen-pal? Why can’t Mia ever find her if she’s just a boat ride away?
Mia is a likeable and relatable protagonist (i.e. – grumbling about spending her spring break searching for her grandpa away from all her friends) who, even though she grumbles, truly cares about her family. As much as this book is a great mystery read, it’s also a sweet ode to family.