May 2012, Orion
216 pages, Paperback
Themes: charity shops, vintage clothes, recycling, upcycling, fashion show, mean girls at school, bullying, missing parents, imagining the worst, a wandering crocodile, heaps of misunderstandings, stress, making friends, family secrets, anxiety, a tissue is needed at the end
Summary from Orion
When Nina's mother disappears, leaving only a cryptic note, Nina is determined to uncover the mystery of where she's gone and why.
When Nina's mother, Miranda, mysteriously disappears, Nina's father goes to look for her, leaving Nina with her two eccentric aunts who run a charity shop in town.
Nina soon discovers that working in the shop can be funny, intriguing and rewarding as she takes in weird and wonderful donations, makes new friends and uncovers strange secrets! But Nina is determined to solve the mysteries that have taken over her life - where has her mother gone? Why did she leave so suddenly? And just what is the secret she's been hiding?
The cover matches the feel of the book completely. There is a lot of stuff going on in Nina's life. Her head gets pretty cluttered as various mysteries come to light when her mother disappears. She tries to keep it all to herself but one thing leads to another, and she finds that by talking to people she can find solutions easier.
Although the main focus was Nina's mother's disappearance, recycling is a big theme of the book. I think it teaches readers not to dismiss charity shops. No one will like everything, yet everyone can probably find something they like, and create beautiful new outfits for a fraction of the price in this 10/10 read which made me cry at the end.
You can find out more on Linda's website.
For more mystery and fun objects try Amelia Dee and the Peacock Lamp by Odo Hirsch