________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 17. . . .January 4, 2013


Vanish. (Orca Currents).

Karen Spafford-Fitz.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2012.
131 pp., pbk., hc., pdf, epub., $9.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-45980-349-7 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-45980-355-8 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-45980-350-3 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-45980-351-0 (epub).

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

Review by Tanya Boudreau.

Reviewed from Advance Review Copy.

*** /4



I run until a stitch jabs into my side. As I turn onto 76th Avenue, I slow to a walk. My breath is coming in gasps. I don’t see Aaron until he is right in front of me.

“Here.” He hands me a helmet. “Climb onto the handlebars. I’ll double you the rest of the way.” The helmet doesn’t fit well, and getting onto the handlebars is way tougher than it sounds. “Ouf!” I land against Aaron’s chest as he starts pedaling. Our heads bang against each other. If we weren’t wearing helmets, we would probably both have concussions.

Aaron is soon puffing hard. There are two more quick turns before Lily’s house. At the first turn, I nearly slide off. Aaron struggles to keep the bike balanced. As he slows down for the last turn, I jump off and start running.


<Vanish is Spafford-Fitz’s (Dog Walker) second book for the “Orca Currents” series. Friendship is all Simone wants now that she’s started attending a new school in Edmonton. Her old friends are ignoring her, and her new classmates are not making any effort to include her. During her Leadership Studies class though, she befriends a kindergartener named Lily. Simone helps Lily create a career picture, play games, and learn her home address and phone number. The fact that this last task proves difficult for Lily is a clue about her past. This story about child abduction has a twist at the end, but it is a happy ending for the friends. Lily reconnects with her dad, and Simone finds a way to spend more time with Lily. The trust that developed between the two friends saves Lily from a future of unhappiness and confusion. The author is accurate in her portrayal of the popular yet mean “Runway Girls” found in every school; yet, in this story, the popular boy is smart enough to stay away from them. He learns about true friendship from Simone. Although the cover of this book didn’t match the descriptions of the main characters (Lily is not wearing pink, and Simone looks much older than a grade eight student), Vanish is a reluctant reader book (RL 3.7) that should be in libraries.


Tanya Boudreau is a librarian at the Cold Lake Public Library in Cold Lake, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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