Friday, April 06, 2018

Going Underground: Hiding by Henry Turner

I'm very good at hiding.

Real hiding happens when everybody can see you, but they don't notice you.

Danny is proud by his ability to disappear in plain sight. Teachers never notice him, even though he's right there in the middle of the class. He knows the answer, he's looking right at the teacher, but he's never called upon. He's the kid nobody quite seems to remember from elementary school. Nobody really sees him except his first girlfriend, Laura. But then she breaks up with him. Wandering the streets, he spots Laura with her family entering a funeral home.

I never meant to go to that funeral at all. My girlfriend Laura had just broken up with me. You get the idea.

Something awful had just happened. Laura had on this very sheer black dress. She looked beautiful, except her face. Her face looked terrible. She felt sad. I could tell.

All I did was dart across the street. Nobody really saw me. When everything was settled inside the funeral home, two men came out, smoking cigarettes. A kid had died. One of the men said he'd ridden his skateboard under a bus. I didn't really want to go to the burial, but I had to see Laura once again. I watched the burial, coming closer and closer. I slid ahead until I was standing two feet behind Laura.

Danny is still obsessed with Laura. Determined to understand why she broke up with him, he hides at night outside her house in her upscale neighborhood, totally unlike his own run-down side of town. Crouching in the shrubbery, he notices an open basement window and slips inside, and hiding in a storage room, he hears Laura's brother come down, close the window, and set the household alarm. Knowing he's trapped inside, Danny chooses to wait until everyone leaves the house in the morning to make a run for it.

But when everyone leaves the next morning, Danny decides to find out everything he can about Laura, to find something that will explain why she broke up with him. He reconnoiters through the lavishly decorated but strangely sterile house until he finds Laura's room. He discovers her hidden diary which reveals Laura's sadness over her inability to please her parents, even facing their disappointment that she didn't make the Olympic trials team.

And then he reads something startling about himself, something incredible but which explains everything, in Henry Turner's psychological thriller, Hiding (Houghton Mifflin Clarion, 2018). Author Henry Turner spins out the suspense, gradually revealing much about Laura's life, but much more about how his protagonist comes to see his own life. Tightly drawn, this low-key but eerie study of a one boy's personality and his own fate will keep young adult readers wondering until the final revelation--and after.

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