Genre: Contemporary/Novel in Verse
Release Date: 5/10/2011
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About the Book: When Wren and Darra are eight years old, Darra's father steals a car, not knowing Wren is in the back. While police are on the lookout for a kidnapper, Darra knows that Wren has to be hiding out in her garage. Wren manages to escape and their lives are forever changed. Now, years later, they are both arriving at the same summer camp. Neither has seen each other since those fateful days and neither is sure how to approach the other and talk about what happened to them and the events that followed.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Helen Frost is a master of writing beautiful poetry. Wren and Darra's stories are told in alternating points of view with alternating poetry formats. I didn't realize until I read the author's note at the end of the book that all of Wren's poems are written so that readers can also read the last word in the longest sentences to read a new sentence which I thought was a cool little detail.
The story is engaging as both girls are dealing with the consequences of what happened to them years before and learning how their actions affected the other girl involved. Their stories intertwine in an interesting way and it's really nice how it all unfolds. I did think that their time at camp was a bit forced and I wanted them to talk to each a bit more, but I did appreciate what was there and it felt true to the characters and their ages.
Hidden would make a great book to read for a poetry unit as the book is a great example of using forms of poetry to tell a story and creating in depth characters and details. This one is on our state book award list for next year and I'm curious to see how our fourth-sixth graders respond to it. I think our readers who enjoy contemporary novels will love it.
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from finished copy I checked out from my local library