________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 13. . . .December 2, 2016


In Plain Sight. (Orca Soundings).

Laura Langston.
Victoria, BC: Orca, February, 2017.
144 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1416-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1417-2 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1418-9 (epub).

Grades 7-11 / Ages 12-16.

Review by Christina Pike.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



The police officer is coming back. He's accompanied by two more officers. One, a woman, glances at Mom but doesn't stop. She disappears from sight. The second officer joins the first one in our cubicle. He's scary tall, and the intensity in his dark eyes makes me shiver.

He stares at Mom before flashing his lieutenant's badge. "Alice Farnsworth," he says.

My mother makes a sound that's a cross between a cry and a sigh. "Yes."

Huh? My mother's name is Rochelle, not Alice. Alienate, not Farnsworth. I turn to her. "What's--"

The officer won't let me speak. "You need to come with us," he tells her.

The female officer materializes behind us, a pair of cuffs in her hand. I'm suddenly cold. "What are you doing?"

The two male officers exchange glances.

"It's okay, Megan. Everything will be fine." But Mom's eyes are too shiny, her cheeks too flushed. "Call Aunt Bev. Tell her I'm being detained."


In Plain Sight begins with the day 15-year-old Megan's world fell apart. At a protest that she has organized, Megan's mother is arrested, and Megan learns that her mother has been living under an assumed name and that her father was responsible for a terrorist bomb that killed many innocent people. As Megan struggles to figure out who she is, she also struggles with the guilt of her parentsí actions.

      In the novel, Langston raises the question of nature versus nurture and asks readers to question whether a person is defined by their genetics or their environment. She also looks at friendship and loyalty. Finally, Langston wants her readers to look inward and put themselves in Megan's shoes.

      A good read that is a must in these times.


Christina Pike is the principal of Macdonald Drive Junior High School in St. John's, NL.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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