Macey McCallister, “Niner” to her classmates, is missing a lot of things – her thumb, her birth parents, her history – and now her adoptive mother has disappeared as well. So one morning when Macey finds a locket on her front lawn, she is convinced that it is a sign, something placed there just for her. But when others seem to want the locket as well, Macey, her sister Deena, and their friends are unwittingly drawn into the middle of a frightening and dangerous game. In the midst of this danger, Macey must confront an ugly truth. Was it her fault that Mom left? Was it time for her to find her birth parents? From the innocent discovery of the locket to the surprise revelation of its significance, Macey is faced with a question that will affect the rest of her life. When she finds the answer, she also discovers something of great importance – the place she truly belongs.
The space where my thumb should be was aching. Deena never believes me when I tell her that. “Things that aren’t there can’t hurt you,” she always says. But they do. And I should know.
"...wonderful, heart wrenching book...I loved the book and I loved the characters and I loved how real the writing was. I can't say enough about this book!...it's really a great book. -apatchworkofbooks.blogspot.com "The working-class Philadelphia setting comes to life, and the turmoil of children struggling to understand adult issues rings true." -Kirkus "Macey's longing for her mother is compelling and understandable, and her relationship with her stroppy, willful, and yet beloved younger sister is tenderly depicted." -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "The characterizations are distinctive...Foreshadowing ratches up the tension, and readers will race to the conclusion, which solves the mystery, but avoids pat answers." -Booklist "...Golding nails the Philadelphia setting of this novel....The characters are well-developed and well-defined and the reader identifies with Macey at every turn....The pacing and development of the plot keep the reader engaged....It is a bittersweet story with much heart, most of it Macey's." -TriState Reviews Macey's classmates call her Niner because she has only nine fingers. She doesn't mind the nickname too much, except when Zach uses it. He's the only one who uses it in a mean way. Joe and Pam are my brother- and sister-in-law. I feel lucky that they are part of my family. They are good and generous people who are fun to be around and who have a strong sense of family. Meg is my good friend who helped me any time I had an adoption question during the writing of Niner. Ty is her beautiful and talented adopted daughter.
Penna. State Library Assoc. Top Forty Pick
YALSA 2009 Best Books for Young Adults
Kansas State Reading Circle 2009 Recommended Reading List