Kate Messner has been conjuring up high-interest stories for years. I recently scouted out her freshest fare, The Exact Location of Home. It features Zig, actually Kirby, who goes by a shortened version of his surname, Zigonski. He lives with his mother, a starving nursing student divorced from his mostly-absent-real-estate- developer dad. With a knack for electronics, Zig finds and uses an older model GPS tracker and starts geocaching. Techie readers will be fans of the importance of the gadget to the story. Zig convinces himself, from web clues, trinkets uncovered at sites and a found journal, that Senior Searcher, a fellow geo-junkie, has so much in common with Zig’s dad that he must, in fact, BE him. So starts Zig’s quest, with the help of Gianna, his friend and burgeoning crush, to locate his father. Events complicate when money gets seriously tight and mom and Zig lose their apartment. Ending up in a homeless shelter, the story intensifies. Reader’s interest will pique as Messner expertly relays the experience of life in a shelter. Also engrossing are the secrets kept. Mom disguises the truth about why dad seems unreachable and Zig hides his homeless status from friends, especially Gianna. Messner weaves not only layers of secrets in this tale, but also embeds sophisticated messages about the environment, disappointment, self-acceptance and love. The unexpected ending will leave readers comforted and accepting that home really is where the heart is!
By Kate Messner
Hard back copyright 2017, paperback copyright 2018.
Accelerated Reader Level 4.1
Click on the photo to order through Amazon:
Another Gianna? Want to read a book set in autumn about a girl who tries to juggle a science assignment, maintain her position on the track team and deal with family all at once? Don’t miss this story of priorities and passions, procrastination and proving oneself. I enjoyed this story featuring strong-willed Gianna and the life lessons she learns.
Accelerated Reader 4.2
Originally published in 2007 and rereleasd in 2017.