The Mystery of the Missing Mum

Publisher: Pushkin Children’s Books

Nine days before Christmas, Jake’s world is turned upside-down when he wakes up to discover that his mum has disappeared. Desperately concerned about her welfare, he cannot understand why nobody else seems worried. His elder sister Rose carries on as normal, Grandma begrudgingly moves in to look after them, and his best friend Lukas is evasive and distracted. Feeling incredibly alone, Jake takes matters into his own hands and draws up a list of places Mum might have gone, including: the EU, the Bahamas, prison, Tesco, Christmas shopping, hospital and Dad’s place. As he launches his investigation, he works through the possibilities, gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses, until he narrows it down to one, final option.

Jake’s quest is interspersed with memories of living with Mum before she went missing. This gives readers an insight into Jake’s unconventional, sometimes chaotic and increasingly stressful life, and gradually reveals the extent of his mum’s mental health issues. Infused with humour, this absorbing story is an insightful exploration of how a person’s mental illness can have profound effects on those around them. Ideal to help young people develop empathy, the book also provides reassurance to anyone who may have had similar experiences.

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