So my only protection is a kindergarten teacher and a ninety-eight-pound female minister....And they don't even believe I'm in danger.
As Bethany approaches her thirteenth birthday, her parents act more oddly than usual. Her mother cries constantly, and her father barely lets Bethany out of his sight. Then one morning he hustles the entire family into the car, drives across several state lines -- and leaves Bethany with an aunt she never knew existed. Bethany has no idea what's going on. She's worried her mom and dad are running from some kind of trouble, but she can't find out because they won't tell her where they are going.
Bethany's only clue is a few words she overheard her father tell her aunt: "She doesn't know anything about Elizabeth." But Aunt Myrlie won't tell Bethany who Elizabeth is, and she won't explain why people in her small town react to Bethany as if they've seen a ghost. The mystery intensifies when Bethany gets a package from her father containing four different birth certificates from four different states, with four different last names -- and thousands of dollars in cash. And when a strange man shows up asking questions, Bethany realizes the's not the only one who's desperate to unravel the secrets of her past.
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Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio. Visit her at HaddixBooks.com.From Booklist:
Gr. 5-8. The author of Escape from Memory (2003) and the Shadow Children series has penned another suspenseful sf novel guaranteed to keep readers riveted. After her mother suffers a nervous breakdown, 12-year-old Bethany Cole is deposited with Myrlie Wilker, an aunt of whom she has never heard. Myrlie and several other residents of Sanderfield, Illinois, do a double take when they see Bethany--for she reminds them of Elizabeth, Bethany's heretofore-unknown older sister, who died some 20 years earlier. In carefully crafted, gripping prose, Haddix slowly reveals the family secrets that have been kept from Bethany all these years: her sister's death, her parent's desperate grief, and the deal they made with a wealthy businessman. The ending is a little too neat, but Haddix's fans aren't likely to notice; secondary themes concerning cloning ethics and personal identity are also nicely handled, which makes this a good companion to Nancy Werlin's Double Helix (2004). Kay Weisman
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