About Missing Okalee

Missing Okalee

When compared to her nearly perfect little sister, Phoebe Paz Petersen feels she doesn’t measure up in her parents’ eyes. Okalee is smart and beloved for her sunny disposition, which makes it hard for Phoebe to stand out in their small town in Montana. But if she can get picked for the coveted solo in the school choir, she’ll stop being a middle-school nobody and finally get her chance to shine.

Despite her sister’s annoying perfection, Phoebe actually loves spending time with Okalee. They have one very special, secret tradition: River Day―when they hold hands and make their way across the cold, rushing Grayling River, to celebrate the first hint of spring. This year’s River Day crossing, however, goes horribly wrong, and Phoebe’s world is suddenly turned upside down.

Heartbroken and facing life without Okalee, Phoebe is more determined than ever to sing the solo in the school concert as a way of speaking to her sister one last time. But Phoebe’s so traumatized by what happened, she’s lost her beautiful singing voice.

Kat Waters wants the choir solo for herself and is spreading a terrible rumor about what really happened to Okalee on River Day. If Phoebe tells the truth, she believes her family will never forgive her and she may never get to sing her goodbye to Okalee. Even worse, somebody is leaving Phoebe anonymous notes telling her they saw what really happened at the river.

Missing Okalee is an empathy-building novel about the unbreakable bond between sisters and finding the courage to do what’s right amid heartbreak and tragedy.

My review

Wow, this book by Laura Ojeda Melchor really touched me. This was one book I did not want to put down. I loved the way the story drew me in. It was almost like I was there by the river, in Montana with Phoebe and Okalee.

Phoebe was a great character. I loved seeing the story through her eyes. The reader almost felt like they were right there, not only when Okalee went into the water, but when everything else happened to Phoebe. It felt so real to me, that I cried. I could imagine the weight of guilt that Phoebe felt. So much guilt that she couldn’t sing.

This book had such a great plot. I didn’t want to stop reading it. Honestly, I read this one in an afternoon. It was perfect. It is a middle grade book. But, I, as an adult thought it was well written and interesting. I’m interested to see what our kids think of it.

I loved this book. You need to read it!

I was sent a copy of Missing Okalee as a gift from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

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