Disappearing Act

By Jiordan Castle

Hardcover edition

Publisher Macmillan Imprint Farrar, Straus & Giroux ISBN


Disappearing Act

In stock


Crime: General,Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use,Language: Strong Language,Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion

Moving and evocative, this YA memoir-in-verse follows author Jiordan Castle's coming-of-age as her family reckons with the aftershocks of her father's imprisonment.

Jiordan’s family was never quite like everyone else’s, with her father’s mood swings, her mother’s attempts at normalcy, and her two sisters with a different last name. But on the surface, they fit in. Until the day the FBI came knocking. After that, her father’s mood plunged to a dangerous low. After that, there was an investigation and a sentencing in court. After that, her family changed forever.

Reckoning with her father’s incarceration, Jiordan navigated friends who couldn’t quite understand what she was going through, along with the highs and lows of first love. But if her father was gone, why did Jiordan feel like the one disappearing? Recounting her own experiences, poet Jiordan Castle creates a searing YA true-story-in-verse about the challenge to be free when a parent is behind bars.

Author’s note.
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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Castle's memoir in verse focuses on her father's incarceration for fraud. The narrative moves back and forth from the formation of her family to their current life. Of her father's bizarre and erratic behavior and its impact on her family, she writes, "For so long I've thought of my dad at the center of our home planet-navigating the rough realities of his moods and medications." Buoyed by her best friend, Maya, Castle navigates the changes to her family. Selling their home: "[A]nd my mom says simply, we can't afford to keep our house." Her father's suicide attempt: "There was no envelope left for my sisters or me." Even in prison, her father shadows her life with tense phone calls and prison visits, creating a constant low-level dread in the background of their lives. Castle feels jealous when Maya spends time with their mutual friends, fearful of losing her strongest advocate. When Castle starts dating Chris, this adds tension to her relationship with Maya. The text makes good use of white space. Some poems are written with blank lines in the sentences that readers can fill in with their own thoughts. The author's note provides more background on the timing of these events and why Castle wrote her story. VERDICT An interesting narrative about the impact of incarceration on a middle-class family as well as an examination of the author's various relationships. A good general purchase.-Tamara Saarinenα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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