Twelve-year-old Aidan has been missing for six days. And for his family, especially his brother, Lucas, it’s been six agonising days of searches, police, questions, and constant vigils. The police ask Lucas where Aidan goes to hide when they play. Lucas tells them Aidan always hides in the attic. The police search every inch of the attic, but to no avail. But then, Aidan reappears. And where is he found? In the attic.
Aidan tells everyone that he has travelled through the dresser in the attic to a Narnia-esque land with green skies, maddoxes, and a few humans. The story is simply… impossible. But it’s the story Aidan is sticking to. Lucas, who’s only a year younger than Aidan, wants to believe his brother. But he’s aware of what his parents and the rest of the town are saying: Aidan is making it all up to disguise the fact that he ran away.
The kids at school hear Aidan’s story and begin to torment him, but he clings to his story. As Aidan becomes more of an outcast, Lucas becomes more and more concerned. Being on Aidan’s side means believing in the impossible. But how can he believe in the impossible when everything and everyone is telling him not to?
David Levithan is an award-winning, bestselling author of young adult books, including Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist with Rachel Cohn. In-between writing his own books, David is a publisher and editorial director at Scholastic in New York. His talent and expertise in the realm of books shines through his craftsmanship of The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S.
Levithan’s choice to write the story from Lucas’ perspective, rather than Aidan’s, illustrates how family scandal and drama impacts the whole family, not just the member in the spotlight. The book’s poignance stems from the magical-realism laced throughout this moving and gripping tale about honesty and the special bond between brothers.
This book is a contemporary mystery with a sprinkle of fantasy for middle-grade readers aged 12+. It introduces readers to relevant coming-of-age themes such as family hardship, tackling school and friendship, and adapting to a lifestyle change of pace – a theme new high-schoolers can relate to.