A timely middle-grade story about the devastation of wildfires and the resilience of the human spirit.
He’s a rescue, a mutt. Maybe there’s a little golden retriever in him, although he’s not exactly pretty. He’s had a run-in with coyotes and he’s missing an eye. But Mike is eleven-year-old Cara Donovan’s dog, and they love each other absolutely. Usually her pet follows Cara everywhere, but on the day the family first smells smoke in the air, Mike becomes anxious. Pine Grove is in the path of a wildfire, and the family is ordered to evacuate. In the ensuing chaos, Mike runs off. And then the unthinkable happens; there is no time to search for Mike. They are forced to leave him behind.
Shocked and devastated, Cara watches helplessly as the family drives through a nightmare, with burning debris falling from the sky and wild animals fleeing for their lives. Once in the city far from the burn zone, the Donovans are housed with a volunteer host family. Jewel, the hosts’ daughter, is nice, but Cara can only think about what she may have lost. What will happen if nothing is left? But as she reflects on what “home” means to her, Cara knows only one thing. She is not going to lose Mike. She will do what it takes to find him, even if it means going back to Pine Grove on her own.
Missing Mike (Pajama Press) is available now in Canada; coming September 14, 2018, in the U.S.
- 2018 OLA Forest of Reading Kid Committee Summer Reading List selection
“Tense, heartwarming, and masterful.”—Kirkus
“Cara is an appealing, believable narrator … Her mix of fears, insecurities, optimism, and penchant for crossword puzzles will resonate … Cara provides a dramatic and youthful eyewitness perspective on wildfires, evacuation operations, the kindness and generosity of strangers, and the traumatic uncertainty of loss. A timely addition to middle grade collections.”—School Library Journal
“[Green’s] ability to convey complex emotions is on point: uncertainty, regret, nostalgia, loyalty, love, and friendship are palpable. Missing Mike is a novel that subtly shifts from being about a missing dog to become an exploration of the emotional journey of losing home and finding it once again.”—Quill & Quire
“Green’s choosing to tell this story via free verse was the correct stylistic decision. Her descriptions, particularly those dealing with the evacuation, are absolutely gripping. There’s much to like in Missing Mike… Highly Recommended.”—CM Magazine
“Cara’s love for Mike is so deep that her anguish at being separated from him is palpable…But more than the story about a missing dog, Missing Mike is about home… Shari Green, who has impressed all readers with her exceptional novels in verse…does not disappoint with this latest middle grade novel in free verse.”—CanLit For Little Canadians
“Showcasing author Shari Green’s genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling, “Missing Mike” will prove to be of extraordinary interest for children ages 9 to 12, making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to elementary school and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections for young readers.”—Midwest Book Review