January 22, 2019
Riley has not been coping so well since his mother disappeared. Neither his father nor his brother seems as concerned as he is. Even his much loved grandparents appear to be disengaged from his urgency to solve the mystery. His seemingly never-ending meetings with the police going over and over the events of the last day he saw his mother are frustrating and useless.
When Riley recalls the legend of the Whispers, mysterious creatures who inhabit the woods near his house and rumoured to grant wishes, he determines to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve his dearest desire.
He engages assistance both intentionally and inadvertently from his best friend and his ‘crush’ and the resulting events are both filled with humour and poignancy.
Howard has produced a narrative which is in turn gripping, powerful, sorrowful and joyous. At times I found it difficult to continue as the clues unravelled to the conclusion – too close for comfort really – so I would be cautious about to whom I would give this book to read. That being said, it is masterfully and sensitively written and perfectly suited to able middle school readers from around 12 years upwards.