Running away from home isn't as easy as Ren thinks it will be. At least she isn't running very far-just a few miles to the ghost town of Fortune . . . or "Mis"-Fortune as everyone else calls it. "Mis"-Fortune on the Mississippi. Supposedly, there's an abandoned school on the outskirts with cheap rooms for rent.Read more...
Running away from home isn't as easy as Ren thinks it will be. At least she isn't running very far-just a few miles to the ghost town of Fortune . . . or "Mis"-Fortune as everyone else calls it. "Mis"-Fortune on the Mississippi. Supposedly, there's an abandoned school on the outskirts with cheap rooms for rent. Ren knows her plan sounds crazy. But with only a few more weeks until Dad comes home from his tour of duty in Afghanistan, she also knows she has to do something drastic so Mom will come to her senses and stop seeing that creep Rick Littleton for good.
From the moment she enters the school's shadowy halls, Ren finds herself drawn into its secrets. Every night old Mrs. Baxter, the landlady, wanders the building on a mysterious quest. What could she be up to? And can Mrs. Baxter's outlandish plan to transform the gym into a pearl-button museum ever succeed? With a quirky new friend named Hugh at her side, Ren sets out to solve the mystery that could save Fortune from fading away. But what about her family's future? Can that be saved too?
- ISBN-13: 9780374300654
- ISBN-10: 0374300658
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)
- Publish Date: November 2015
- Page Count: 288
- Reading Level: Ages 10-12
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-08-24
- Reviewer: Staff
After Ren catches her mother flirting with another man (Ren’s father is a soldier stationed in Afghanistan), the 12-year-old runs away to a dilapidated school turned boardinghouse in Fortune, a virtual ghost town on the Mississippi River. There, she finds strange characters and an irresistible mystery. Former beauty queen Hildy Baxter, the establishment’s elderly owner, is eager to chronicle Fortune’s history by opening a pearl button museum, if only she can find the treasure box her brother hid years ago. Assisting Hildy is Mayor Joy, his donkey, and jack-of-all-trades Garrett, who is building a labyrinth of shells in the backyard. Together with friends Hugh and Tucker, Ren helps with the museum and searches for Hildy’s lost treasure, despite threats of closure. Ren’s confusion over her parents’ troubled relationship is lovingly handled through Ray’s whimsical characters and heartfelt moments between Ren and her mother. Ray (Here Lies Linc) expertly incorporates the forgotten history of shell harvesting towns along the Mississippi in an absorbing and well-written story that recalls Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie. Ages 10–12. Agent: Laura Langlie, Laura Langlie Agency. (Nov.)