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The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother)

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New York Times bestselling author David Levithan takes young readers on a twisting journey through truth, reality, and fantasy and belief. Aidan disappeared for six days. Six agonizing days of searches and police and questions and constant vigils. Then, just as suddenly as he vanished, Aidan reappears. Where has he been? The story he tells is simply. . . impossible. But it' New York Times bestselling author David Levithan takes young readers on a twisting journey through truth, reality, and fantasy and belief. Aidan disappeared for six days. Six agonizing days of searches and police and questions and constant vigils. Then, just as suddenly as he vanished, Aidan reappears. Where has he been? The story he tells is simply. . . impossible. But it's the story Aidan is sticking to. His brother, Lucas, wants to believe him. But Lucas is aware of what other people, including their parents, are saying: that Aidan is making it all up to disguise the fact that he ran away. When the kids in school hear Aidan's story, they taunt him. But still Aidan clings to his story. And as he becomes more of an outcast, Lucas becomes more and more concerned. Being on Aidan's side would mean believing in the impossible. But how can you believe in the impossible when everything and everybody is telling you not to?


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New York Times bestselling author David Levithan takes young readers on a twisting journey through truth, reality, and fantasy and belief. Aidan disappeared for six days. Six agonizing days of searches and police and questions and constant vigils. Then, just as suddenly as he vanished, Aidan reappears. Where has he been? The story he tells is simply. . . impossible. But it' New York Times bestselling author David Levithan takes young readers on a twisting journey through truth, reality, and fantasy and belief. Aidan disappeared for six days. Six agonizing days of searches and police and questions and constant vigils. Then, just as suddenly as he vanished, Aidan reappears. Where has he been? The story he tells is simply. . . impossible. But it's the story Aidan is sticking to. His brother, Lucas, wants to believe him. But Lucas is aware of what other people, including their parents, are saying: that Aidan is making it all up to disguise the fact that he ran away. When the kids in school hear Aidan's story, they taunt him. But still Aidan clings to his story. And as he becomes more of an outcast, Lucas becomes more and more concerned. Being on Aidan's side would mean believing in the impossible. But how can you believe in the impossible when everything and everybody is telling you not to?

30 review for The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a Middle Grade book. I loved this book. The characters was so great, and I really loved the two brothers (Aidan and Lucas) characters. This book really shows the love brothers has for each other. It also shows how mean kids can be to other kids. I feel this book as a lot of important lessons for middle grade kids to learn into. This book was so well-written, and I think middle grade kids and adults will love this book. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Knopf This is a Middle Grade book. I loved this book. The characters was so great, and I really loved the two brothers (Aidan and Lucas) characters. This book really shows the love brothers has for each other. It also shows how mean kids can be to other kids. I feel this book as a lot of important lessons for middle grade kids to learn into. This book was so well-written, and I think middle grade kids and adults will love this book. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Knopf Books for Young Readers) or author (David Levithan) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that. (*)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emma☀️

    This was a fun read, however it did fall a bit short. I was under the impression that we were going to get Aidan’s story from his time at Aveinieu (a Narnia-like portal world), but that was sadly not the case. The book dealt with the aftermath of Aidan’s disappearance and how Lucas and his family dealt with it. Family was an important theme throughout the novel. I loved the sibling relationship between Aidan and Lucas. They were so supportive of each other and it was lovely seeing them bond over This was a fun read, however it did fall a bit short. I was under the impression that we were going to get Aidan’s story from his time at Aveinieu (a Narnia-like portal world), but that was sadly not the case. The book dealt with the aftermath of Aidan’s disappearance and how Lucas and his family dealt with it. Family was an important theme throughout the novel. I loved the sibling relationship between Aidan and Lucas. They were so supportive of each other and it was lovely seeing them bond over the course of the novel. Levithan’s easy-going and fun writing style made for a quick read. I was fascinated with Aidan and Lucas’s story. However, I felt that the plot progression was rather slow. Nothing really happened and the plot did not go anywhere. I also wished we got to learn more about Aveinieu and why the portals appeared when they did. That wasn’t touched on. Overall, this was a fun read! This was my first time reading Levithan’s works and it won’t be my last. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    David Levithan's new book, The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother) , is a sweet, moving, mysterious story about telling the truth and a special relationship between brothers. One night, 12-year-old Aidan disappeared. He and his younger brother Lucas both went to bed (they share a room), and when Lucas woke up the next morning, Aidan was gone. Everyone in their town searched everywhere, and no stone was left unturned. What could’ve happened to him? Six days later, Lucas David Levithan's new book, The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother) , is a sweet, moving, mysterious story about telling the truth and a special relationship between brothers. One night, 12-year-old Aidan disappeared. He and his younger brother Lucas both went to bed (they share a room), and when Lucas woke up the next morning, Aidan was gone. Everyone in their town searched everywhere, and no stone was left unturned. What could’ve happened to him? Six days later, Lucas found Aidan in their attic. He was disoriented and talked of a place no one had ever heard of. Of course, everyone is relieved that he has returned unharmed. But where did he go, really? The story Aidan reluctantly tells can’t possibly be true, and he doesn’t want everyone to know, so their town is transfixed by Aidan's return, then slowly grows angry because of the lack of a story. And when there's no story, the only thing to do is make things up, right? “Yeah, but the truth isn’t very helpful if people don’t believe it. Or at least that’s what it looks like now.” Lucas wants to support his older brother. Could the story he is telling be true, or is it a defense mechanism to compensate for a more traumatic thing that might have happened? If the story is true, what does it mean? I really enjoyed this middle-grade story about the effects of Aidan’s disappearance and his return on his family. Aidan and Lucas are a little more sophisticated than you would expect 12- and 11-year-olds to be, but it isn't too jarring. There are also some LGBTQ characters and situations (again, nothing too jarring) which may throw off some middle-grade readers. The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. is poignant and sweet and mysterious. Once again, David Levithan proves why he’s one of my favorite writers. I was pleased to be part of the blog tour for this book. Storygram Tours and Random House Kids provided a complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available! The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. publishes 2/2. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. Check out my list of the best books of the last decade at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2020/01/my-favorite-books-of-decade.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sheena

    Lucas' brother Aiden goes missing and the whole town joins in in helping to find him. They search everywhere, including the attic in the house. A week later, Lucas finds his brother in the same attic they already searched before. Aiden claims he went through the dresser and into another world. Of course, no one believes him and the town spirals out of control in claiming that they deserve to know the truth. Lucas isn't sure what he believes but is there to support Aiden. Reminiscent of Narnia, I Lucas' brother Aiden goes missing and the whole town joins in in helping to find him. They search everywhere, including the attic in the house. A week later, Lucas finds his brother in the same attic they already searched before. Aiden claims he went through the dresser and into another world. Of course, no one believes him and the town spirals out of control in claiming that they deserve to know the truth. Lucas isn't sure what he believes but is there to support Aiden. Reminiscent of Narnia, I thought this was a sweet story between two brothers supporting each other through a hard time. I really liked the ending and thought it was bittersweet. Any age can read this and I do think there are lessons for the younger aged children. I've read Levithan in the past and have always been a fan so I'm glad to have read his newest book. Thank you to much to Netgalley and to the publisher for an advanced copy of this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    birdie

    This was a very intriguing middle grade novel and though I definitely enjoyed my time reading it, it didn't really do anything for me. It did have a great vibe that had me wanting to keep reading more which just made it a really quick read. Despite not having any strong feelings towards it, I'm very glad I picked it up because I now definitely want to read more by David Levithan! If anyone's looking for a light, magical-realism middle grade story, I'd definitely recommend this one! blog | booksta This was a very intriguing middle grade novel and though I definitely enjoyed my time reading it, it didn't really do anything for me. It did have a great vibe that had me wanting to keep reading more which just made it a really quick read. Despite not having any strong feelings towards it, I'm very glad I picked it up because I now definitely want to read more by David Levithan! If anyone's looking for a light, magical-realism middle grade story, I'd definitely recommend this one! blog | bookstagram | more

  6. 4 out of 5

    Schizanthus Nerd

    It was a game of hide and seek that got old after five minutes, alarming after an hour, and the scariest thing that had ever happened to any of us after that. Aidan couldn’t be found. Lucas’ older brother, Aidan, disappeared without a trace for six days. Now he’s returned home and the story he tells about the time he was missing seems too strange to be true. Where were you? Nobody’s going to believe me. I’ll believe you. I don’t think you can. I loved the interactions between the brothers as the It was a game of hide and seek that got old after five minutes, alarming after an hour, and the scariest thing that had ever happened to any of us after that. Aidan couldn’t be found. Lucas’ older brother, Aidan, disappeared without a trace for six days. Now he’s returned home and the story he tells about the time he was missing seems too strange to be true. Where were you? Nobody’s going to believe me. I’ll believe you. I don’t think you can. I loved the interactions between the brothers as they navigated the suspicion surrounding Aidan’s story and the people who felt they deserved an explanation because they’d helped search for him. Lucas’ initial disbelief and his subsequent wavering between thinking Aidan’s story is impossible and wondering if it actually could be true was realistic, especially given Aidan’s propensity for telling his younger brother some far-fetched things in the past. I liked Lucas, especially appreciating how much he wanted to believe what his brother was telling him and doing his best to protect him. I thought it was particularly appropriate that Lucas was studying Roanoke at school during the time immediately after Aidan’s return. My favourite character was Aunt Brandi, whose wisdom and compassion made me wish she was my Aunt. I definitely wanted to spend more time with her. She managed to snag the best lines. I loved this one: “It stretches credibility - but life stretches credibility all the time, to the point that credibility doesn’t have much credibility left, you know?” I really wanted to learn more about the place Aidan spent his time while he was missing. Previous books I’ve read that feature portals spend a significant amount of time world building and oftentimes I’ve been able to travel to far flung worlds with the main character. But that’s not what this book is about; Aidan’s story is about the after. Aidan was no longer missing, but now it was like the answers to his disappearance were missing instead. What happens when you return from a place that others find unbelievable? How will your family, friends and the wider community respond to you? How will you adapt once again to this world, knowing you can’t return to the one you’ve so recently lived in? How do you do this life after experiencing another? The entire time I was reading I kept thinking this is the perfect gateway book to Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series. As Aidan attempted to reacclimate himself to his life at home, I found myself wanting to refer him to Eleanor West's School for Wayward Children, a place where his experience would be believed and the complicated feelings he had about his return validated. I only had a couple of nitpicks, but none of them prevented me from loving this book. While Lucas and Aidan’s relationship was both endearing and believable, they tended to speak as though they were older than 11 and 12. There was never any explanation provided for why Aidan described the maddoxes differently throughout the book. While I understood his reasons for doing so, I was disappointed when Lucas made a decision on Aidan’s behalf towards the end of the book. I’d love to say more, but spoilers. I wanted Aidan to make that decision for himself, though. Food I craved while reading: cinnamon rolls. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Text Publishing for the opportunity to read this book. I’m rounding up from 4.5 stars. Blog - https://schizanthusnerd.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    Trisha

    I thought this was a great book about family and brothers. It shows the aftermath of Aidan disappearing in a way that is hard for his brother to believe. Although the story didn't get into where Aidan went too much, I can see another story coming along and giving us the rest of the info. As it was, it was well written and I really liked the story between the family and the brothers. I thought this was a great book about family and brothers. It shows the aftermath of Aidan disappearing in a way that is hard for his brother to believe. Although the story didn't get into where Aidan went too much, I can see another story coming along and giving us the rest of the info. As it was, it was well written and I really liked the story between the family and the brothers.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marieke du Pré

    Edit 2 Februari 2021 Does anyone know why people with no friends and barely any books on their list are cancelling this book? Over a 150 1 and 2 star ratings in just a few days. It’s such a sweet story! This sweet MG story is about 11 yo Lucas and his 12 yo brother Aidan who disappears for six days and tells his family he has been in another world: Aveinieu. His parents don’t believe him; Lucas wants to, though. But isn’t Aidan’s story implausible? And does it matter if Aidan’s story is possible o Edit 2 Februari 2021 Does anyone know why people with no friends and barely any books on their list are cancelling this book? Over a 150 1 and 2 star ratings in just a few days. It’s such a sweet story! This sweet MG story is about 11 yo Lucas and his 12 yo brother Aidan who disappears for six days and tells his family he has been in another world: Aveinieu. His parents don’t believe him; Lucas wants to, though. But isn’t Aidan’s story implausible? And does it matter if Aidan’s story is possible or not? Because Aidan is back safe and isn’t hurt, although Lucas notices he changed. Since his return, Aidan is quiet and seems lost. He only is happy when he tells stories about Aveinieu. But then Aidan’s story gets out, and everyone has an opinion. I don’t read middle grade often, but I do read a lot of YA books. Never read one of David Levithan, though. I found The mysterious disappearance of Aiden S on NetGalley, and because I could read it without requesting it, I just gave it a go. And I’m glad I did. I loved the relationship between the two brothers, how Lucas tried to get Aidan talking about Aveinieu and wanted to defend him when other kids at school got nasty. It shows kids what happens when they are mean to each other. Next to kids being jerks and brotherhood, I liked the way queer characters were presented in the story; aunt Brandi was the best!! Sometimes I found the pacing a little slow, but overall I liked this story a lot! I received an ARC from Knopf Books for young readers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Crunden

    If the book is good enough, you feel like everything is true. I honestly, truly enjoyed this. It's a very good twist on kid goes off to fantasy world. This story focuses on the family he leaves behind, the brother who wants to know the truth of where he went. My heart broke for Aidan throughout this story and I do wish it had a slightly different ending, but overall I thought the take was interesting and Aidan and Lucas had a great brotherhood. It kind of reminds me of Last Bus to Everland. ➵ tha If the book is good enough, you feel like everything is true. I honestly, truly enjoyed this. It's a very good twist on kid goes off to fantasy world. This story focuses on the family he leaves behind, the brother who wants to know the truth of where he went. My heart broke for Aidan throughout this story and I do wish it had a slightly different ending, but overall I thought the take was interesting and Aidan and Lucas had a great brotherhood. It kind of reminds me of Last Bus to Everland. ➵ thank you netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review ♡

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kadi P

    *Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.* This was a fantastically written book and an interesting read. Just shy of touching, the whimsy was kept to a minimum which went well with the almost solemn tone of the book. The question in my mind throughout was not “is the protagonist’s reason for his disappearance true?” rather it was “how will everyone move on from this?”. It was extremely interesting to see how the protagonist’s relations *Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.* This was a fantastically written book and an interesting read. Just shy of touching, the whimsy was kept to a minimum which went well with the almost solemn tone of the book. The question in my mind throughout was not “is the protagonist’s reason for his disappearance true?” rather it was “how will everyone move on from this?”. It was extremely interesting to see how the protagonist’s relationships where affected by the story behind his disappearance. I would say that it did seem as though everyone reacted a little too cordially to it, only acting in a quietly curious manner or persisting with questions for a bit and then respectfully giving space. More intense confrontations could’ve occurred to really take the book to another level. The ending was not really what I expected and there was one moment I would love to change. I guess the moment where (view spoiler)[ Lucas tells Aveinieu that Aidan isn’t coming back (hide spoiler)] emphasises even more that this book is less about where Aidan went and more about how he moved on from it. That moment seemed to eclipse the whole book and even though overall the book was good, it could’ve been so much better if that moment was changed in really any way.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    It was very interesting and well written read. The book focus on the aftermath of Aidan's disappearance and to be honest I would also like to read story what happen to him when he was gone. Aiden claims he went through the dresser and into another world - it obviously remind me of Narnia. I really enjoyed siblings relationship showed in this book - Aidan and Lucas have a amazing brotherhood. Unfortunately the ending wasn't so great for me - it was very bittersweet and I wish it would end other w It was very interesting and well written read. The book focus on the aftermath of Aidan's disappearance and to be honest I would also like to read story what happen to him when he was gone. Aiden claims he went through the dresser and into another world - it obviously remind me of Narnia. I really enjoyed siblings relationship showed in this book - Aidan and Lucas have a amazing brotherhood. Unfortunately the ending wasn't so great for me - it was very bittersweet and I wish it would end other way. Rating overall 3,5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me copy of book in exchange for review. All opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    This gave me such nostalgia for the books from my childhood. It’s beautifully, effortlessly written and honest. It has that timeless quality that all middle grade literature possesses.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elyse (ElyseReadsandSpeaks)

    I had to stew on this one for a bit before rating it. Because I'm so back and forth on it, I think 3 stars is a fair rating. I'm between 2 and 3 so I guess it's a 2.5 rounded up. This book follows two brothers: Aidan and Lucas. Aidan disappeared and was missing for 6 days before he resurfaced again in his family's attic. His family, the police, and the neighborhood that were searching him clearly had questions about where he was so Aidan told them. The problem is that his story was so fantastica I had to stew on this one for a bit before rating it. Because I'm so back and forth on it, I think 3 stars is a fair rating. I'm between 2 and 3 so I guess it's a 2.5 rounded up. This book follows two brothers: Aidan and Lucas. Aidan disappeared and was missing for 6 days before he resurfaced again in his family's attic. His family, the police, and the neighborhood that were searching him clearly had questions about where he was so Aidan told them. The problem is that his story was so fantastical that no one believed him. To me, this story isn't so much about where Aidan was, but more so about how we treat other people who say things that are impossible to believe. I consider myself a very honest person. I demand the truth from other people and I easily write off people that exaggerate. It's like nails on a chalkboard for me. Therefore, I can completely understand Aidan's parents' reactions. They want to be there for their kid, but they're frustrated that they're not getting what they believe to be the real story. Very realistic and it's nice to read a middle grade that paints parents in a realistic light. The most interesting reaction is Lucas - he doesn't believe Aidan but he begins to see the value in just listening and being supportive. This is where I feel the lesson in the story lies. Sometimes it doesn't matter what someone says. Sometimes they just need someone to hear them, regardless of how outlandish it may sound. I completely admit that this is not my forte and probably never will be. But I think that's exactly why I took something away from this book. So why only 2.5 stars? This story left something to be desired. It was a fast-paced, easy read, but there just wasn't enough development here in any aspect. Not enough development with the aftermath of Aidan's disappearance with his family, his friendships, even the neighborhood's feelings regarding Aidan. I felt like each thing in here barely scratched the surface before jumping to another scene. When I finished, I was left feeling disappointed because I felt like this really had some potential and it completely dropped the ball. However, even though I was really disappointed with the execution, I still think it was a compelling enough story. Yeah, I think 3 stars is fair.

  14. 4 out of 5

    KTReads

    3.5 I really enjoyed this fun mystery story which I think is perfect for fans of Malamander by Thomas Taylor! This book follows our main character Lucas who when his brother goes missing for 6 days tries to find out what happened. I really loved the brotherly relationships in this story as well as the complicated family relationships. I also loved the atmosphere and creativity that was woven into this novel. The only issue I had with it was I was never completely gripped or connected to the story 3.5 I really enjoyed this fun mystery story which I think is perfect for fans of Malamander by Thomas Taylor! This book follows our main character Lucas who when his brother goes missing for 6 days tries to find out what happened. I really loved the brotherly relationships in this story as well as the complicated family relationships. I also loved the atmosphere and creativity that was woven into this novel. The only issue I had with it was I was never completely gripped or connected to the story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Faeeja Humaira Meem

    Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. It was such an unexpectedly exceptional read! The novel is a gem balancing realism with fantasy woven throughout masterfully, blending in themes of family bonding, love, and even moral quandaries such as distrust and honesty. The plot is simple and as the blurb suggests: Twelve-year-old Aidan vanishes in the middle of the night, only to reappear six days later in his own attic. His family and the Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. It was such an unexpectedly exceptional read! The novel is a gem balancing realism with fantasy woven throughout masterfully, blending in themes of family bonding, love, and even moral quandaries such as distrust and honesty. The plot is simple and as the blurb suggests: Twelve-year-old Aidan vanishes in the middle of the night, only to reappear six days later in his own attic. His family and the entire townspeople want answers to where he has been, but his explanation satisfies no one, as Aiden claims he went through the dresser and into another world called Aveinieu through a portal. The story is told through the perspective of his younger brother, eleven-year-old Lucas, who is not sure what to believe but is there to support his brother. I loved this unique storytelling perspective by Levithan, as well as his easy-going fun conversational writing style, as it suited the voice of these kids. Aidan has a hard time fitting into the "real" world again and he copes with it by telling stories of Aveinieu, and as the stories get out, well kids at school are mean to people with a knack for story-telling or imagination. I can vouch for that. I categorized this story as a fantasy but is it really? The novel has a bit of everything, yet does it really? Did Aidan really go to Aveinieu, or is he making it up like most kids his age as a source of escapism? Where did Aidan, then, disappear to? It was so well-executed and beautifully presented that I had tears when reading because it was relatable and hard-hitting. The fact that it was told through Lucas' perspective rather than Aidan's is what stood out to me, because I was, as a reader, as lost as Lucas. What was real, and what was made up? Do we believe Aidan, or does he seem like he needs medical attention? The parents are supportive, but understandably unsure about how to handle the situation. I imagine this could be good for parents to read with their kids and start discussions of identity, isolation, and related difficulties mostly pre-teens face. The progression of the book was slow and the conclusion was rather inconclusive, but it makes up for the heavier topics being discussed here. The portal to a different world might have been done before (like Narnia and the Wayward Children books), but what makes The Mysterious Disappearance Of Aidan S. unique is the outsider perspective. Because Lucas is the narrator and he never went to the other world, we never get too much information on Aveinieu, but the glimpses we get through Aidan's stories about the world is fascinating and enchanting and makes you crave you for more. Also, I want to say I love the LGBTQ+ inclusion the book had, especially for middle-grade fiction. Making that subject not an important part of some of the characters, rather it was just, there. Aunt Brandi is the best! 4.5 stars. Highly recommend!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. I have not read any Levithan (that I can remember at least) so I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this one. I liked the premise (a boy goes missing for 6 days, shows up unexpectedly, and no one believes the story he tells about where he was/why he as gone) and I had high hopes. I was not disappointed. :) This was one of those magical, unexpected middle grade books that Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. I have not read any Levithan (that I can remember at least) so I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this one. I liked the premise (a boy goes missing for 6 days, shows up unexpectedly, and no one believes the story he tells about where he was/why he as gone) and I had high hopes. I was not disappointed. :) This was one of those magical, unexpected middle grade books that just WORKS. Balancing fantasy, realism, and a look at the bonds of family, this was a gem of a story. Aidan goes missing and for six days his family and entire community look for him. They search everywhere, eventually even thinking they are looking for a body and not him. But then, suddenly, he shows back up. His brother finds him in the attic, a place they had searched multiple times. Aidan says he was in another place entirely, a magical world found beyond the doors of the dresser that is stored up there, but now, he has been banished back to our world. Distraught, and without time to make up any other story, Lucas yells out that Aidan is back. And now they have to deal with the fallout: did he make up this story? Was he pulling a joke on everyone? Is he delusional? And if not, then why is the portal shut off now? The entire book has this tension of wondering if it is true, does this other land exist? And, more importantly, does it matter? Highly recommend.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Keisha | A Book Like You

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I always enjoy David Levithan’s writing. It’s easy to read, fast-paced, and makes it hard for me to want to put a book down. The case was the same for this one. I really enjoyed seeing a “Narnia story” from a different perspective. We didn’t get to see Aidan in his other world. We got to see how his brother, family, friends, and community reacted upon his return. I thought this was a unique take on a common storyline. I struggle to figure out what the point of this book was, which is why I didn’t I always enjoy David Levithan’s writing. It’s easy to read, fast-paced, and makes it hard for me to want to put a book down. The case was the same for this one. I really enjoyed seeing a “Narnia story” from a different perspective. We didn’t get to see Aidan in his other world. We got to see how his brother, family, friends, and community reacted upon his return. I thought this was a unique take on a common storyline. I struggle to figure out what the point of this book was, which is why I didn’t give it 5 stars. I still have questions such as, Why did the door open to Aidan? And why does it open at all? What happened when Aidan was in the other world? And why did Levithan choose the ending he did? I think it would be great to see a second book exploring Aidan in the world he visited and explaining more of how these worlds come about and why they beckon people in. I think I was waiting for a twist, like that Aidan did experience trauma and was actually making things up... like how he misspoke and told his brother that a Maddox was a cross between a bear and an ox when he told his parents that it was a cross between a wolf and an ox. I thought that might have been a clue. But clearly this place was real. I just think I was looking for a little more explanation. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and think it’s well worth a read!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rylanne Burdette

    Aidan has been missing for days. There is no sign of him anywhere in the house, and everyone in town has been searching for him. One evening, his brother, Lucas, finds him in the attic but doesn't know how he got there. Aidan tells his story, but nobody believes him. Lucas tries to figure out what happened to Aidan, and the truth of where he went may just be out of this world. The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. is the first David Levithan book I have ever picked up, and I absolutely loved i Aidan has been missing for days. There is no sign of him anywhere in the house, and everyone in town has been searching for him. One evening, his brother, Lucas, finds him in the attic but doesn't know how he got there. Aidan tells his story, but nobody believes him. Lucas tries to figure out what happened to Aidan, and the truth of where he went may just be out of this world. The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. is the first David Levithan book I have ever picked up, and I absolutely loved it! This middle grade novel has a sprinkle of fantasy mixed in with contemporary and mysterious elements that usually draw me to books in the first place. Aidan and Lucas were both great characters, and I liked how the story was told from Lucas's perspective. The book had me hooked from the first page, and I was able to fly through it in just a few hours. Middle grade is a genre that I have recently learned I adored, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to read this book and grow my love for the genre even more. A huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC of The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. by David Levithan! I can't wait to see this book in stores.

  19. 5 out of 5

    ~Madison

    OH. MY. GOD. This is one of the best things ive ever read. I finished it and squealed, its THAT good.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    Such a cute story. And yes to queer characters for middle graders!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Lucas's brother Aidan disappeared for six days. During that time, the entire town helped look, and the boys' parents (and Lucas) were understandably very upset. Then, just as suddenly, Aidan shows up in the family's attic, a bit dirty and still in his pajamas, but fine. Of course, the police question him and his family repeatedly, and only one story is clear: Aidan traveled into a magical alternate reality, Aveinieu, and only left because it wasn't safe for him to ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Lucas's brother Aidan disappeared for six days. During that time, the entire town helped look, and the boys' parents (and Lucas) were understandably very upset. Then, just as suddenly, Aidan shows up in the family's attic, a bit dirty and still in his pajamas, but fine. Of course, the police question him and his family repeatedly, and only one story is clear: Aidan traveled into a magical alternate reality, Aveinieu, and only left because it wasn't safe for him to stay. He was befriended by Cordelia, who had been in the world so long that everyone she knew in our realm was dead, and she sort of wished she could have returned earlier. There are not a lot of details about the place, although clearly Aidan loved it there and longs to return. There is a lot of concern and curiosity about the incident, but the boys both want to get back to "normal". When they go back to school, someone on the police force leaks the details of Aidan's description of what happened, and kids at school start taunting him about his time with the "unicorns". Lucas feels sorry for Aidan, and tries to help him process what happened and his feelings about it at night before they go to sleep. The parents are also supportive, but a bit unsure what the best way forward is. Lucas at first tells his brother to say he was loopy when first interviewed and the details are due to hallucinations, then tells him to lie and say that he ran away to a gaming convention but didn't want to get into trouble. He tells this lie to the police, who don't believe him, and say that the story about Aveinieu was more convincing. The police are very understanding, and since no one kidnapped Aidan and he wasn't injured in any way, the most important thing is that going forward, he seek help and not run away. Aidan eventually gains some peace over being away from the idyllic world, and moves on, getting involved in activities and getting a boyfriend. Lucas still wants to understand what happened to his brother, and has a brief glimpse of the world in the attic. Strengths: Children going missing is absolutely terrifying, so the exploration of how one family (and their town) deals with this is interesting. Lucas clearly loves his brother, and the parents and police are very understanding and helpful. Aunt Brandi is briefly described as having been the mother's younger brother growing up, but had long since begun living "as her true female self". It's good to see a transgender character described with correct terms, and be included in a story that was not about her gender identity. The story is a good length, and the pacing and character development is well suited to middle grade. I felt like this disappearance and Aidan's subsequent longing was a metaphor for a larger philosophical issue, but couldn't quite pin it down. I can see this being a "heartprint" book that teachers will use for class discussions. Weaknesses: This was very slow moving, and aside from a few descriptions of Aveinieu, wasn't really a fantasy novel. I wished that most of the book would have concentrated on Aidan's experiences in the alternate world instead of covering the aftermath of his disappearance. What I really think: The author cites Stead's When You Reach Me as a well done novel evocative of classic tales of magical realism, and set out to create something similar with this book. I can see this being popular with fans of Snyder's Orphan Island or Spinelli's Hokey Pokey. When You Reach Me only circulates well with students who had a teacher who was passionate about the title and perhaps read it to their class in elementary school, so I will probably pass on purchasing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne (It's All About Books)

    Finished reading: January 19th 2021 "Sometimes we ask questions because we hope the answers will tell us why we asked the questions in the first place." *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Text Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[ I'm hoping to read more Middle Grade reads this year, and there was just something about The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. that caught my eye immediately. And then I'm not just talking a Finished reading: January 19th 2021 "Sometimes we ask questions because we hope the answers will tell us why we asked the questions in the first place." *** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Text Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *** (view spoiler)[ I'm hoping to read more Middle Grade reads this year, and there was just something about The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. that caught my eye immediately. And then I'm not just talking about the stunning cover... The promise of a mysterious disappearance, an impossible to believe story and the consequences of telling such story sounded absolutely fascinating, and I'm glad to say that the execution without doubt lived up to expectations for me. This turned out to be an excellent MG story that is perfect for the target group as well as older readers! The interesting thing about The Mysterious Disappearance Of Aidan S. is that it's hard to put the story firmly inside a genre box. Is it a contemporary with focus on family and the aftermaths of a missing child and brother? Yes. Is it a magical realism story where the lines between the 'real' world and fantasy are blurred? Yes. And is that fictional world called Aveinieu not a sign this is actually fantasy? Maybe. But the thing is: while we have the fantasy world right there front and center, we never actually get to see Aveinieu for ourselves. The main character of this story, Lucas, is Aidan's brother and therefore never actually visited Aveinieu... Giving us an unique perspective on what happened to his brother, as like Lucas you are left wondering what is real and what is (possibly) made up. This angle definitely made the story stand out for me! There isn't a lot of development of the fantasy world, mostly because the story is told from Lucas' POV and he never actually went there. Still, the glimpses we get through Aidan's words are more than enough to enchant you, and it feels like a whimsical world we are so close to touch, but never actually get to visit. The focus on the real world and what happens after Aidan is found makes for an interesting contrast, and brings forwards questions about believing the unbelievable and the consequences of telling a story that is basically impossible. As a whole this story tends to tip towards the real world, with a magical realism feel popping up in between. The door (or dresser in this case) to a different world might have been done before (think Narnia, the Wayward Children books), but it is the outsider perspective that makes The Mysterious Disappearance Of Aidan S. unique. As a whole this story turned out to be an excellent Middle Grade read I'm sure children and adults alike will enjoy. I personally simply couldn't stop reading until I reached that final page! It has wonderful hidden deeper meanings as well. (hide spoiler)] P.S. Find more of my reviews here.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tiash .

    "True or not, every story has something it wants you to remember. True or not, every story has something it wants you to believe." David Levithan is one of those authors I easily gravitate toward and that's the sole reason why Picked it up. No offence but middle grade books bore me real hard. But then few exception happens and It's one of those rare case! I could feel the story, mainly because I've a sibling just one and a half year elder than me and we more or less was like Aidan and Lucas in ou "True or not, every story has something it wants you to remember. True or not, every story has something it wants you to believe." David Levithan is one of those authors I easily gravitate toward and that's the sole reason why Picked it up. No offence but middle grade books bore me real hard. But then few exception happens and It's one of those rare case! I could feel the story, mainly because I've a sibling just one and a half year elder than me and we more or less was like Aidan and Lucas in our former days. Let's keep that aside for a while, so what's the story about? 11 years old Lucas one morning finds his 12 years old brother Aidan is missing. And upon their utmost try they could not muster any idea where he could be. The police and locals put their heart to find Aidan but all Their effort brings no fruit and after six days Aidan mysteriously comes back with a very strange story with alternate reality. No wonder no-one buys that. But wait there is some more hidden layers to explore. I had no expectations for it and it was those unexpected reads which hammers your thought pattern and mock you "bitch what you were thinking". It offers a A perfect balance of emotion and reality. A family going through shit but their strong bonding melted me right there. It's not a huge book, but within the limited space it perfectly shows the double standard nature of human and how hard it’s sometimes to cop up with that. But which really make me love it was the beautiful craftsmanship of author. It's possible you may interpret the story in a different way but for me it was a metaphorical representation of coming out and the hurdles come along with it. No wonder finding about sexuality and accept that is an immense thing and here It's beautifully crafted. Okay I'm not going to give much of the story cuz I strongly believe It's worth to find out yourself. So just go and read it! Undoubtedly a solid 5 star read! #nonSensicalRumblings Where do I sign up to smack GLENN? That double standard dickhead was hella irritating. Screw HIM And Officer Pinkus, can we be bff? 😂

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rupal Rao

    The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. by David Levithan, is a short pleasant read, it's a Middle grade book but I absolutely enjoyed it! . Family was an important theme throughout the novel. The relationship between the two brothers, Aidan and Lucas was admirable. They were so supportive of each other and it was lovely seeing them bond over the course of the novel. This book showed many other things, how mean kids at school can be, how fast rumors fly, and how at the end even your friends mig The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. by David Levithan, is a short pleasant read, it's a Middle grade book but I absolutely enjoyed it! . Family was an important theme throughout the novel. The relationship between the two brothers, Aidan and Lucas was admirable. They were so supportive of each other and it was lovely seeing them bond over the course of the novel. This book showed many other things, how mean kids at school can be, how fast rumors fly, and how at the end even your friends might betray you; and my most favorite part was the recognition of LGBTQ among kids, I absolutely loved how the author introduced it. This is definitely something I would recommend to all middle graders. It also showed how misunderstood kids really feel, every time Aidan said he should have just lied to everyone made my heart swell. Of course, at times it's difficult to believe such story, that's why we don't always have to BELIEVE but have FAITH. Levithan’s writing style was fun and light. I was fascinated with Aidan and Lucas’s story and curious to know more about Aveinieu. However, I felt that the plot progression was too slow. Nothing really happened or changed throughout the story, we didn't see any developments. Even by the end of the book, we didn't got to know much about Aveinieu and why the portals appeared when they did and some background about them. Overall, this was a fun-light read! This was my first time reading Levithan’s works and it won’t be my last. Thank you to the publisher(Text Publishing) and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I will post the review on my main accounts ( https://www.instagram.com/bookwithru/ ) , (https://twitter.com/BookWithRu) on 19th February 2021.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    It has been a long time since I found a book so compelling that I read straight through it. As a remedy for covid-reading-focus issues David's first book for middle grade readers is the ideal remedy! The voice of Lucas, the younger brother and narrator was simply terrific - a thoughtful observer of events and interactions around him, it is spot on, believable and compelling. Lucas's story is the device that raises the issues, spots the inconsistencies and the assesses the reactions. Lucas reports It has been a long time since I found a book so compelling that I read straight through it. As a remedy for covid-reading-focus issues David's first book for middle grade readers is the ideal remedy! The voice of Lucas, the younger brother and narrator was simply terrific - a thoughtful observer of events and interactions around him, it is spot on, believable and compelling. Lucas's story is the device that raises the issues, spots the inconsistencies and the assesses the reactions. Lucas reports both what he sees and hears but what is also unsaid or remembered - beautifully increasing the feeling of uncertainty and doubt. This is both an urgent, can't put it down story and a thoughtful set of powerful observations that require a pause to consider - not an easy combination to pull off. What is truth, what is the impact of truth on the listener when what may be the truth is unimaginable? Should the truth always be told and when and why would you alter it? David skillfully plants seeds of doubt everywhere in Lucas's narration, leaving the reader always feeling slightly off-center. Often young readers dislike open ended stories but those stories motivate them to instant conversations and that is a powerful thing. Some readers will race through this and more sophisticated readers are going to discover so much to consider. All readers are going to find that the story lingers long after the pages are finished. This is going to make a terrific booktalk and would be an ideal book for a book club or to read aloud.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Galy

    I recieved this ebook from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! All opinions are my own. I was so excited to read another David Levithan book! The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. is a middle grade book with a fantasy touch. It was interesting! One day Aidan disappeared. He disappeared for six days. His family and everyone in town were searching for him. But then Aidan reappeared. He told a story that no one believed, except maybe his brother Lucas. People s I recieved this ebook from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! All opinions are my own. I was so excited to read another David Levithan book! The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. is a middle grade book with a fantasy touch. It was interesting! One day Aidan disappeared. He disappeared for six days. His family and everyone in town were searching for him. But then Aidan reappeared. He told a story that no one believed, except maybe his brother Lucas. People started asking too many questions while Lucas, Aidan and his family were just glad Aidan was back home. But his parents kept trying to make Aidan tell them the truth, what happened? This was an interesting mystery! I enjoyed it a lot. I wanted more of the story, it felt a bit short but as a middle grade it was a good book! It kept my interest all the time. The relationship between the brothers was my favorite thing. They're only a year apart, they're different but they're so similar all at once. Their late night conversations felt real, they shared a room, so when the light was out they couldn't see each other but they knew they could talk to each other about anything. It was a beautiful thing to read about. I wasn't a huge fan of their parents but it was a complicated situation so I get it, they were doing everything they could. I really liked the ending cause I thought it was going to be one way and it went the other way so that was cool. I'm really glad I got the chance to read this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rylanne Burdette

    Aidan has been missing for days. There is no sign of him anywhere in the house, and everyone in town has been searching for him. One evening, his brother, Lucas, finds him in the attic but doesn't know how he got there. Aidan tells his story, but nobody believes him. Lucas tries to figure out what happened to Aidan, and the truth of where he went may just be out of this world. The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. is the first David Levithan book I have ever picked up, and I absolutely loved i Aidan has been missing for days. There is no sign of him anywhere in the house, and everyone in town has been searching for him. One evening, his brother, Lucas, finds him in the attic but doesn't know how he got there. Aidan tells his story, but nobody believes him. Lucas tries to figure out what happened to Aidan, and the truth of where he went may just be out of this world. The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. is the first David Levithan book I have ever picked up, and I absolutely loved it! This middle grade novel has a sprinkle of fantasy mixed in with contemporary and mysterious elements that usually draw me to books in the first place. Aidan and Lucas were both great characters, and I liked how the story was told from Lucas's perspective. The book had me hooked from the first page, and I was able to fly through it in just a few hours. Middle grade is a genre that I have recently learned I adored, and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to read this book and grow my love for the genre even more. A huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC of The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. by David Levithan! I can't wait to see this book in stores.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Valeria Fernandez

    Thanks to Netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review This is one of those stories that's so beautiful and important you still think about years later. When Aidan goes missing, his parents and brother -as well as the entire town- look for him all over the place. When Aidan comes back, six days later, and they ask him about his whereabouts, he says he was in a magical world. His parents are skeptical, but his little brother is there for him, to help him deal with the fallout of hi Thanks to Netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review This is one of those stories that's so beautiful and important you still think about years later. When Aidan goes missing, his parents and brother -as well as the entire town- look for him all over the place. When Aidan comes back, six days later, and they ask him about his whereabouts, he says he was in a magical world. His parents are skeptical, but his little brother is there for him, to help him deal with the fallout of his story. Does it matter where he was? What matters is that he's home. This book pulled me right in. The main character has such a sweet voice, and he's really caring towards his brother, which makes the book so easy to read. The pacing was fantastic, not super fast moving, but the book has the right beats in the right place that you just can't stop reading. The fantasy aspect was very whimsical, adding enough to the story to make you wonder: _was this all real?_ And make you want to believe it was. My only complaint is that there were minor plot elements that felt like they didn't add much to the story other than a passing mention, and it would've benefitted from exploring them further. I'd definitely recommend to check this book out! At it's core I think it explores themes of family and having your loved ones' backs, and it's a wonderful book that not only middle graders, but everyone will love!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Juan Antonio

    *** ARC provided through NetGalley*** Wow that was quite an experience. This books doesn’t tells us the story about the disappearance of Aiden like the book title might suggest, rather is the story after he came back and all of the consequences it had his departure. We see all of this through Lucas, Aiden’s brother. And how he is struggling in weather he should believe his brothers stories. First of all I want to say I love the LGBTQ+ inclusion the book had, specially for a middle grade. Making t *** ARC provided through NetGalley*** Wow that was quite an experience. This books doesn’t tells us the story about the disappearance of Aiden like the book title might suggest, rather is the story after he came back and all of the consequences it had his departure. We see all of this through Lucas, Aiden’s brother. And how he is struggling in weather he should believe his brothers stories. First of all I want to say I love the LGBTQ+ inclusion the book had, specially for a middle grade. Making that subject not an important part of some of the characters, but just who they were. I really loved the relationship the two brothers had. Reading how they are becoming closer is amazing and heartwarming. The world building is small but the things that we knew were amazing. I was surprised this book was a middle grade, I think is a little more mature because of some big subjects like death and mourning, happening in the first pages of the book. I didn’t mind that the pase is really slow. I know if I were younger I would’ve been bored most of the time. This because it is really repetitive, I didn’t mind it a lot but some people might. Something that I don’t know how to feel about is that the book was building into something really big for the ending and the conclusion was actually really good, different form what I expected but good nonetheless, but there were some questions that left unanswered, specially one about maddoxes. At the end is a book I think most of the people would enjoy, but I don’t recommend it if you don’t like slow paced books.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Nocita

    #TheMysteriousDisappearanceofAidanSastoldtohisbrother #NetGalley Thanks to Net Galley for the advance reading copy of The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother) by David Levithan. 2.5 stars In a letter to readers Levithan says that this novel, his first for middle grade readers, is an amalgamation of many books and authors that have influenced his literary life. “That’s what I hope I’ve done here, taking a lot of stories I love, mixing them into a mystery, and giving them bac #TheMysteriousDisappearanceofAidanSastoldtohisbrother #NetGalley Thanks to Net Galley for the advance reading copy of The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother) by David Levithan. 2.5 stars In a letter to readers Levithan says that this novel, his first for middle grade readers, is an amalgamation of many books and authors that have influenced his literary life. “That’s what I hope I’ve done here, taking a lot of stories I love, mixing them into a mystery, and giving them back in a new way.” Twelve year old Aidan disappears one evening. When his eleven year old brother Lucas awakes the next morning, he’s immediately alarmed to find that his brother is not in his bed. A household search is conducted, the police are called, and searches are organized. Detectives question Lucas. But no trace, no clue, is left behind. Lucas feels lost too. How could his brother disappear and he not know anything at all? They’re close. They share the same room. They’re only a year apart. But Lucas is as perplexed and mystified as his parents and the police. Six days later, just as things are beginning to feel more frantic and less hopeful, Aidan reappears as mysteriously as he disappeared. Lucas hears a noise from the attic and rushes up to find a dazed and disoriented Aidan face down on the attic floor, looking disheveled. Aidan is dazed and confused. And his explanation for where he’s been? It’s not what anyone expects. Lucas alone gets the whole story. The Aidan who returns is different than the Aidan from before. What ensues is Aidan’s reluctant re-entry into the world as he navigates the demands of his family, friends, paparazzi, and schoolmates all of whom demand to know what really happened. The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. is a sweet homage to brotherly bonds. In some ways, it is like The Body by Stephen King. It’s more novella than novel. It has a nostalgic sense of time and place and features a seminal moment coming of age that indelibly marks the protagonists. There’s not much action but it is a tender story of two brothers seeing one another more clearly. As a middle grade novel, this novel does not hit its target. Aidan and Lucas are young, middle schoolers, but they don’t sound like middle schoolers. The dialogue is clunky and outdated. Their vocabulary is much too sophisticated and, perhaps, not contemporary. It’s entirely possible that adult Lucas is the narrator, reminiscing about the past, but if so, I’d like for that to be more firmly suggested in establishing the setting. Some incongruous details like home phones and pay phones could be better explained if the story is set back a couple of decades but I found them very distracting. The adults in the story are very chill and super helpful, as if they were scripted right out of a self help guide. I found their prosaic lectures and platitudes oftentimes more patronizing than comforting. And not 100% authentic. I also found Aidan’s post disappearance transformation not entirely convincing. It’s like he went in as Cartman and came out as Gandhi. My rating reflects my belief that my middle school readers will not readily gravitate to this one.

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