Strange CreaturesPhoebe North
fantasy, young adult
A riveting, unexpected, and beautiful contemporary novel about a girl whose brother mysteriously disappears, the family and friends he leaves behind, and the stories — real and imagined—that they tell themselves to fill the empty space.
From the moment that Annie was born, she and her older brother, Jamie, were inseparable. Alike in almost every way, they promised to always take care of each other while facing the challenges of growing up different in suburban America. And when life became too much for them, they created their own space in the woods behind their house: a fantasy world of their own making, where no one else could find them. And it was enough, for a while. But then came middle school when Jamie grew dark and distant. He found new friends, a girlfriend, and a life away from Annie and their shared world. By the time Annie was in eighth grade, it was as if she hardly knew the brother who was her other half.
And then, one day, he disappears.
Annie, her family, and the entire community are devastated. And as the days turn into months turn into years, everyone begins to accept that Jamie is gone for good. Everyone, that is, except Annie, who believes that Jamie, somehow, has entered the world they created, and who believes that she's the only one who can bring him back. But as Annie searches for answers and finds a new relationship with a girl she did not expect, she makes startling discoveries about her brother's disappearance — and has to decide how much of herself she’s willing to give up in order to keep hope alive.
As they follow the lives of Annie, Jamie, and the friends and family around them, acclaimed author Phoebe North weaves an unflinching, unforgettable story of the empty spaces inside all of us, and the devastating sacrifices we make in order to become whole.
Phoebe North is the author of Starglass and Starbreak. She received an MFA in poetry at the University of Florida. She lives with her husband and cat in New York State.