Readers have called my young adult novel Evidence of Things Not Seen “edgy” and had a lot of questions about the characters profiled there. Some of those questions have been, well, edgy themselves. With only a chapter spent with each, readers fiercely want to hold the characters accountable and make sure they get the respect they deserve.
1. Mrs. Smythe, you told the sheriff, “It’s all our fault.” Why do you feel so guilty about Tommy’s disappearance?
2. Mr. Smythe, how would you feel if you found out that Tommy really did find his birth family, that he was with them right now?
3. Mrs. Smythe, it seems like the way you look for Tommy is very similar to his theory of alternate realities. Can you talk about that?
4. Mr. Smythe, if you thought Tommy was “different,” why didn’t you have him tested? Do you think it would have made a difference in what happened?
Readers have also seen themselves in characters or seen their friends in the pages. Some of things they see about themselves and others make them curious, some scare them, and some offer hope. Each set of questions is followed by some websites and organizations where you might get answers. I call them “resources” for lack of a better name. But they could also be called a lifeline, a revelation, or evidence of things not seen. Don’t be afraid to look for answers.
There are people out there whose mission it is to help find kids who go missing, and to provide support to family and friends. Find out more by visiting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.