Middle Grade Author Shannon Whitney Messenger began Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays a while back. If you love middle grade literature, check out her blog for a list of other sites featuring MG books.
Today I’ll talk about Dust by Arthur Slade.
From Goodreads: Seven-year-old Matthew disappears one day on a walk into Horshoe, a dust bowl farm town in Depression-era Saskatchewan. Other children go missing just as a strange man named Abram Harsich appears in town. He dazzles the townspeople with the promises of a rainmaking machine. Only Matthew’s older brother Robert seems to be able to resist Abram’s spell, and to discover what happened to Matthew and the others.
From Vicki: In short, creepy, well-written, intriguing. I was interested in this one because of its Saskatchewan setting, thanks to a bestie who lives there. I wasn’t sure I’d like the whole dust bowl, Depression thing, but it worked so well with the story. The setting enhanced the ambience.
The story flowed beautifully and the mystery unfolded effortlessly. The creepy factor was up there with Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I may never think of butterflies the same way again. Ooh, my spine is tingling just remembering that part!
Like any good middle grade mystery, the main character has everything to do with whether the mystery is solved, whether the town is saved, and whether Robert ever sees his younger brother again.