Nancy Springer is the rare author who has never written a book I disliked. Although I have neverread her first series, The Books of Isle, I've read everything else she has written and been pleased. Somebody, her newest book, is no exception.
Sherica has always lived under assumed names, always moved several times a year, and always known that her mother abandoned her family for a boyfriend. She has always accepted this path her father has chosen, sublimating her anger and frustration by overeating, until she finally starts to realize that no one else lives like this. With the help of a boy at the local library, she finds a picture of herself on a missing children's web site, and begins the long journey to understand her past and reconnect with the person she is supposed to be.
Has this topic been covered before? Sure. There's Mazer's Taking Terri Mueller (1981), Ehrlich's Where it Stops, Nobody Knows (1988), Pfeffer's Twice Taken(1994), Cooney's The Face on the Milk Carton (1994), Sorrell's Fake ID (2005), and Hautman's Doppelganger(2008). Still, it is a topic of interest to children (don't most children wish at some time that they had other, better parents hiding somewhere?), and Springer's treatment has some interesting twists and is a quick, satisfying read. Her word farming has yielded another tasty product.