The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother) (Hardcover)
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Spring 2021 Kids Indie Next List
“The whole town is in an uproar when Aidan, Lucas’s older brother, completely vanishes. When Aidan is found in the attic almost a week later, that concern turns into frustration. None of the adults believe what Aidan is telling them, that he accessed another world through the old attic wardrobe, a portal that has now closed. What Lucas finds hardest to believe is that when Aidan describes the green skies and foreign creatures of Aveinieu, it seems that he would rather be back there than home with his family. A thought-provoking novel of magical realism that leaves much to the imagination in both the ordinary and extraordinary. Bound to become a modern classic.”
— Andrew King, University Book Store, Seattle, WA
This emotionally charged story follows a boy grappling with his older brother's disappearance and the strange story he tells when he comes back. Did Aidan actually find a portal to a fantasy world like he claims? Or is that just a lie he's telling to avoid talking about his trauma like the police and their parents suspect? Fantasy worlds and real pain collide in this mysterious family drama.— Kay
Aidan disappeared for six days. Six agonizing days of searches and police and questions and constant vigils. Then, just as suddenly as he vanished, Aidan reappears. Where has he been? The story he tells is simply. . . impossible. But it's the story Aidan is sticking to.
His brother, Lucas, wants to believe him. But Lucas is aware of what other people, including their parents, are saying: that Aidan is making it all up to disguise the fact that he ran away.
When the kids in school hear Aidan's story, they taunt him. But still Aidan clings to his story. And as he becomes more of an outcast, Lucas becomes more and more concerned. Being on Aidan's side would mean believing in the impossible. But how can you believe in the impossible when everything and everybody is telling you not to?
“[A] superb story…. Levithan’s first book for middle-grade readers is an unqualified success.” –Booklist, starred review
“Engaging…. the matter-of-fact inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters is noteworthy. A thought-provoking title for sophisticated readers.” –Kirkus Reviews
“A stellar novel that deftly examines the uncomfortable reality that not everything has a satisfying answer. For example, sometimes people go away and we’re lucky if they come back, and we may be better off focusing less on where they’ve been but on the fact that they’ve returned.” –The Bulletin
"An insightful story, with echoes of Narnia, that will appeal to thoughtful and sophisticated readers.” —School Library Journal