You Must Not Miss

by Katrina Leno

Magpie (Margaret) Lewis’s family life has fallen apart since she caught her... read more

Magpie (Margaret) Lewis’s family life has fallen apart since she caught her dad in bed with her mom’s sister six months ago. She wants nothing to do with her dad, her mom’s started drinking again, and her older sister has taken off. Her best friend has abandoned her, too, although that’s because of something that happened at Allison’s boyfriend’s party, which Magpie can’t fully recall. Magpie, who lives in a town called Farther, copes by writing about an imaginary, perfect place she calls Near. When Magpie, white, discovers a portal to Near and realizes she can not only go there, but has complete control over what happens there, it becomes the outlet for her anger and a place where she can exact revenge. With scenes from the party months before coming into full relief, Magpie remembers Allison’s boyfriend, Brandon, sexually assaulting her. But she doesn’t stop with getting back at Brandon. Not even Hither, a being from Near who acts as her conscience, can convince Magpie to reconsider as she sets out to punish anyone who’s hurt her, or, as things progress, dared to care. At the heart of this unflinching, unsettling novel navigating moral questions is a young woman whose pain is very real in a work open to interpretation, and ripe for discussion. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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