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Children's Fiction Law & Crime

Finding Melissa

by (author) Cora Taylor

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
Dec 2013
Law & Crime, General, Mysteries & Detective Stories
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Dec 2013
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 14 to 18
  • Grade: 9 to 12


An exciting suspense-filled novel about a missing child and the ongoing effect on her family.

Twelve years after the unexplained mystery of her sister Melissa's disappearance, Clarice Warren still deals with the aftermath. Her dad is gone now, leaving her with a mother who can't forgive her for surviving. She had always thought that her mother's favourite was her little sister - and nothing has changed now.

Melissa still gets 100% of her mother's attention even twelve years after her disappearance. Her mother can't give up hope that someday Melissa will come home. Since Clarice can't get her mother's loving attention by being a good daughter - maybe being a "bad girl" is the better approach.

In another town, a young girl still has strange dreams that she can't explain - about people who mean nothing to her. She has lived with her Aunt Rosie ever since her parents abandoned her as a baby. She doesn't remember any of her life with her parents - she only remembers feeling "safe" with Aunt Rosie. She has always been isolated and sheltered but now her life is about to change: she is going to have to learn to be with other people and away from the cocoon of safety she has always known. Maybe that is why the bad dreams have returned.

About the author

Cora Taylor
is the author of numerous books for young readers including Julie (CLA Book of the Year winner), On Wings Of A Dragon, On Wings of Evil and the Ghost Voyages series. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

Cora Taylor's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Taylor, author of the Ghost Voyages series, creates a suspense-driven story of two sisters and the psychotic kidnapper who separated them. She does a fine job of narrating the story from three fragmented perspectives. The key to the book's success is the sisters themselves, who are strong protagonists making choices that defy predictable plot conventions. Readers will keep the pages turning as the story builds to a climactic and satisfying ending. A strong entry into the kidnapping subgenre."

"Several very mature themes are presented in this novel, and difficult topics such as pedophilia, prostitution, and drug abuse are explored in the third-person narrative. The unsentimental approach may cause anxiety for some sensitive, younger teens. However, the exposition of these realities for contemporary Canadians provides several excellent opportunities for critical thinking and reflection. Teachers and parents who promote the examination of tough issues for their students and children will appreciate the novel's directness. Taylor's economical use of language and the novel's rapid pace provide the reader with a compelling plot. Minimal description and action-oriented character accounts keep the tension appropriately high throughout the evolution of the plot. Fans of the suspenseful writings of Caroline B. Clooney and Margaret Peterson Haddix will welcome this engaging Canadian alternative.
Highly Recommended."
— CM Magazine

"This book is both a riveting suspense book and a fascinating character study."
Books For Children blog

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