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Adult Books 4 Teens
Inside Adult Books 4 Teens

Missing: A Memoir

This brave memoir from a young first author is, in its own way, a coming of age story. Harrison was forced to come of age under the most painful of circumstances.

Missing was named one of the top ten memoirs for fall by Publishers Weekly.

HARRISON, Lindsay. Missing: A Memoir. 223p. Scribner. 2011. Tr $25. ISBN 978-1-4516-1193-9. LC number unavailable.  Missing

Adult/High School–Harrison was a normal college student at Brown University. Her parents were divorced, and she was much closer to her mother until they had a fight on New Year’s Eve that caused a rift. But Lindsay and her two older brothers were wildly unprepared for what happened in March, when their mother disappeared seemingly without a trace. The first half of this memoir deals with the unknowingness of “being missing;” the family knew something was wrong and continued to look constantly for Mom Michele, following every possible clue and not giving up hope. Then her body was found submerged in the bay and deemed a likely suicide. The rest of the book details the grieving process and fills in some of the blanks that Harrison had been vague on, such as the details of the New Year’s Eve fight. Withholding those details allows the first half of the book to be more successful as a mystery. Some of the writing is slightly pedestrian, and this, combined with some very strong emotions, often make the book feel more like a grief journal than a fully realized memoir. However, Harrison is an often fearless narrator and is a teenager through much of the book (she’s only 26 now). Both the early mystery and the later grieving should resonate with teens who enjoy memoirs and biographies.–Jamie Watson, Baltimore County Public Library, MD

Angela Carstensen About Angela Carstensen

Angela Carstensen is Head Librarian and an Upper School Librarian at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Angela served on the Alex Awards committee for four years, chairing the 2008 committee, and chaired the first YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adult committee in 2009. Recently, she edited Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Titles and Programs for a New Generation (ALA Editions, 2011). Contact her via Twitter @AngeReads.