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Young Adult Fiction Crime

40 Days in Hicksville

by (author) Christina Kilbourne

Cormorant Books
Initial publish date
Oct 2023
Crime, General (see also headings under Social Themes), Mysteries & Detective Stories
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 7 to 12


Kate doesn’t want to spend one minute in the “Hicksville” her mother moved them to, much less the entire year she’s stuck here in the decaying house they inherited from her grandparents. She misses her boyfriend and sneaking out at night to make urban exploration videos for her growing YouTube channel.

Zach, the boy who lives next door, tries to befriend Kate even though she ignores him. But when Kate discovers her estranged grandfather lives nearby, she wants to meet him despite the small-town rumours of his violent past, and takes Zach with her.

That’s when they find the crevasse on her grandfather’s property and the skeletons hidden inside.

That’s the day they find out Kate’s uncle and his friend went missing as teenagers.

Instead of counting down the days until she can leave Hicksville, Kate and Zach start working together to solve the cold case that has silenced her mother for thirty-five years.

About the author

Christina Kilbourne was born in Southwestern, Ontario, then moved and spent her elementary and high school years in Muskoka, a resort area two hours north of Toronto. She graduated with an Honours BA in English Literature from the University of Western Ontario in 1990 and completed her Masters degree in Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Windsor, Ontario. Upon graduating Christina travelled across Africa, Mexico, Central and South America and has lived two years in New Zealand, her husband’s home country. Christina has worked in various jobs writing for newsletters, brochures, handbooks reports and websites for such organizations as CIBC Bank, the Auckland University of Technology, the Regional Municipality of York, and most recently, Conservation Ontario. Christina currently lives with her husband and two children near Mt. Albert, Ontario.

Christina Kilbourne's profile page


  • Short-listed, SYRCA Snow Willow Award

Editorial Reviews

“Kilbourne brilliantly builds the tension in the story as each character is forced to face their deepest emotions, from desire and apathy at the beginning to anger and the guilt that comes from generational trauma later in the story.”

YA Dude Books

40 Days in Hicksville could be a true crime podcast, unravelling the story through Kate and Zach's eyes — chapters are alternating perspectives of the two teens — and with the twists and turns that often come with a thriller. Christina Kilbourne, author of The Limitless Sky, Safe Harbour, and Dear Jo, takes us to a small Ontario town as if the setting for an episode of Dateline or 20/20, unravelling the mystery with each interview and piece of evidence and investigative step of the police. And, as in those in-depth investigations of the news magazine shows, the trajectory from missing person to justice is not a straight line.”

Helen Kubiw, <em>CanLit for Little Canadians</em>

“Sylvia’s writing made it seamless to fall into Ella’s world and gain a better understanding of how these allergies can limit a person’s ability to easily exist in a world built for able bodies. We really don’t have a lot of quality reads that feature disability in the children’s lit space and it is wonderful to now have another story for readers to feel seen and heard.”

Storytime with Stephanie

“[40 Days in Hicksville] is worth a read, and is a great example of the power of a well-written dual-perspective narrative.”

Canadian Review of Materials

“Christina Kilbourne’s 40 Days in Hicksville is a suspenseful novel that will be enjoyed by readers who enjoy mystery, murder and plot twists.”

Christine O’Sullivan, <em>Canadian Children’s Book News</em>

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