Photos are everywhere. People take them with their phones. They hang on walls, sit on desks and even appear on key chains. They little the web from Facebook to online scrapbooks. Yet the first time Jack sees a photo of himself it is in the back of a book given to him by his uncle he doesn’t remember meeting before taken in a house Jack swears he never visited.
Finding a photograph of himself isn’t the only new thing to happen to Jack when his parents’ dissolving marriage sends him to Hazelwood, Iowa. As his mom leaves him off with her sister, it almost seems like she’s forgetting him. For Jack, being overlooked is nothing all that out of the ordinary. Being the center of anyone’s attention is foreign to him, whether it is that of a possible friend or a bully looking for someone to demean. Even the most powerful man in town is looking Jack up, but Jack doesn’t have any idea as to why.
There’s something secret about Hazelwood, something not quite right beneath the surface. It’s in the silence of a scarred boy named Frankie, the temper of his sister Wendy and a disappearance four years earlier. It’s in the shock Jack feels whenever he touches his aunt and uncle’s house. Jack doesn’t want to call this place home, but he can’t pull himself away.
This is a book of beginnings, of broken identities that may never be whole again. This is a great thinking fantasy tinged with a creepiness young readers can enjoy.