Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hidden by Helen Frost

On a trip to the store, eight-year-old Wren was accidentally kidnapped during a car jacking. Six years later, the new girl in Wren's cabin at summer camp has a connection to that long-ago incident.

The tension between the girls is well-told: Each is scared and wary of the other, and both have spent six years wondering about and kind of hating the other, without really ever having met. The story's told in alternating chapters between Wren and Darra, and each girl has her own poetic form - Wren in short, visually creative stanzas, and Darra in longer free-verse, with another facet of the story constructed between the lines.

It's a great story - something I haven't seen a bunch of times before - and I was completely captivated by the girls' stories and connection. They're relate-able characters with honest feelings and complicated lives. The book brings up some interesting subjects: victimization, difficult family relationships, mixed emotions, and childhood trauma. But it's not a heavy story. The story zips along briskly, and Frost has made every word work its hardest in less than 150 pages.

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