Sunday, January 31, 2021

Book Review: "The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother)" by David Levithan

David Levithan's new book, The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother), is a sweet, moving, mysterious story about telling the truth and a special relationship between brothers.

One night, 12-year-old Aidan disappeared. He and his younger brother Lucas both went to bed (they share a room), and when Lucas woke up the next morning, Aidan was gone. Everyone in their town searched everywhere, and no stone was left unturned. What could’ve happened to him?

Six days later, Lucas found Aidan in their attic. He was disoriented and talked of a place no one had ever heard of. Of course, everyone is relieved that he has returned unharmed. But where did he go, really?

The story Aidan reluctantly tells can’t possibly be true, and he doesn’t want everyone to know, so their town is transfixed by Aidan's return, then slowly grows angry because of the lack of a story. And when there's no story, the only thing to do is make things up, right?

“Yeah, but the truth isn’t very helpful if people don’t believe it. Or at least that’s what it looks like now.”

Lucas wants to support his older brother. Could the story he is telling be true, or is it a defense mechanism to compensate for a more traumatic thing that might have happened? If the story is true, what does it mean?

I really enjoyed this middle-grade story about the effects of Aidan’s disappearance and his return on his family. Aidan and Lucas are a little more sophisticated than you would expect 12- and 11-year-olds to be, but it isn't too jarring. There are also some LGBTQ characters and situations (again, nothing too jarring) which may throw off some middle-grade readers.

The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. is poignant and sweet and mysterious. Once again, David Levithan proves why he’s one of my favorite writers.

I was pleased to be part of the blog tour for this book. Storygram Tours and Random House Kids provided a complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!

The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. publishes 2/2.

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