The blurb says:
Nina's mother has disappeared.
She's left a message to say she'll be back, but nobody knows where she's gone or why.
Nina's father goes to look for her, leaving Nina with her aunts who run a charity shop. When Nina finds some of her mum's most treasured possessions on sale in the shop, she knows something must be wrong.
Soon she is caught up in an investigation of her own. But there are so many secrets to unravel. And once Nina knows the truth, will she wish she didn't?
A fascinating mystery, beautifully crafted by this award-winning author.
The main plot thrust is of course Nina's Mum, but the novel also manages to deal with new school worries, threads about friendship and a lovely sub-plot relating to an upcycling fashion show, as well as an age-appropriate consideration of mental health. There is a real lightness of touch here that makes this a cheering reading experience, even while you're in the middle of it, not knowing where Nina's mother is or how things will turn out.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. In the best tradition of children's literature, it raises some difficult questions (e.g. what if Mum just walked out?) and encourages readers to think about less-than-pleasant things, without threatening their security.
Giveaway!I have a copy of this lovely book to give away to someone out there (open internationally). If you would like to take part, just leave me a comment telling me either about your best charity or junk shop find, or about a lost treasure that you'd love to see reappear in a charity shop for you to reclaim. Each comment will get you one entry into my mystical selection pot. You can also tweet about your treasures on Twitter, using the hashtag #charityshoptreasure - again for one entry per tweet. I'll also pop an entry in for anyone tweeting a link to this giveaway (again, use the hashtag #charityshoptreasure to make sure I see it). I'll draw a winner on Friday 25th May at noon UK time. Note that this book is eligible for the British Books Challenge at the Overflowing Library.
For more about Linda Newbery, you might like to visit her website. Did you see her post on writing for different age groups here last Wednesday?