Before Gramps died, he left Nate a mystery to solve and a secret to keep from Gram. A missing plane. Lost gold. A town called Paradise. Nudged by an eerie sense of Gramps’ presence, Nate and his friend Simon sneak away on a Greyhound bus to find lost treasure before Gram’s nosy neighbour can beat them to it.
Adventure, mystery and the supernatural converge as Nate and Simon embark on a quest that seems to come from beyond the grave.
Nominated, 2015 McNally Robinson Book of the Year for Young People Award
Shortlisted, 2016 MYRCA (Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award)
Recommended, 2015 Best Books, Canadian Children’s Book Centre
“Wow, I am lost for words…Get ready to have a fun adventure and go along in this work of beauty.”
Quirky Book Reviews
“Missing in Paradise would be perfect for the classroom…It’s a great option for middle grades students, especially those who are reluctant readers.”
Saving In Seconds
“A Five Stars Rating”
Rockin Book Reviews
“… I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to any reader young or old, who would enjoy a quick “mystery” or ‘adventure” read.”
“I’d recommend this to anyone with a sense of adventure. It’s good, clean fun. Here’s looking at you, kid. 5 Stars.”
A BUNCH OF THINGS SURPRISED ME on the morning of Gram’s garage sale.
#1: Stinking weather.
Dad dragged me out of bed at sunrise on the hottest, muggiest day of my entire fourteen years. The sheets were glued to my chest, and my pyjama bottoms stuck like extra skin in places they normally wouldn’t. Sweat squished in my shoes as I walked to the car, and it dribbled down my neck, plastering hair to the back of my head. Yeah. That miserable.
# 2: Cruddy drop-off.
Dad dropped us off at the curb in front of Gram’s rambling old house. “Take care of your little sister, Nate,” he said. “Give your grandmother a hand. Stay out of trouble. Think you can manage that for three days while your mother and I are away?”
I stared at the front door. The last time I visited was right after Gramps’ funeral. I didn’t want to be here. Not with Gramps gone. Not with Gram so weepy. And definitely not at this ungodly hour.
Gram ran down the steps to greet us, followed by Buster, Gramps’ old golden retriever. Mom hugged Olivia, then me and Gram. She patted Buster and scrambled back into the car. Just like that my parents were off, squealing tires down the street as if they couldn’t wait to escape.
#3: Mountains of stuff.
When I stepped into the house, my mouth dropped open. I’m no neat freak, but seeing Gramps’ stuff piled up everywhere—mind¬boggling!
In the four months since his death, Gram had given away heaps of Gramps’ stuff, dishing it out like Santa Claus to relatives and neighbours. The garage sale marked the final step of her purge, a last-ditch effort to get rid of rusty saws, battered skis, moth-eaten clothes and a billion other useless things.
“Sell everything, Nate. Ev-ery-thing. I want it all gone.” Those were Gram’s words.
I felt like saying, yeah, like that’s going to happen. But I didn’t. Who’s going to come to a garage sale on such a crappy day for junk like this? On a scale of one to ten, I gave the chance of success a big, fat zero.
#4: Junk that sold.
Okay, I was wrong. Hordes of people came. Most arrived way too early. Don’t they have lives? In less than an hour, the mountains of crap dissolved into small hills. People will buy almost anything if the price is right.
And that’s pretty much when #5 on my list happened. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it unleashed an entirely new batch of surprises.
As I straightened a heap of shoes, Buster scrambled to his feet in a frenzy of yips and yelps. A split second later, a blast of cold air ripped through the garage. An icy hand seemed to clamp down on my shoulder and squeeze. Goose bumps the size of golf balls ran up my arm. I shivered uncontrollably. My teeth even chattered…