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The One Left Behind Paperback – September 25, 2007
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Mandy is a twin. Well... she was a twin. A year ago Angel, her sister, died of food poisoning and left Mandy devastated and alone. Since that time her family has pulled together and gone on with their lives. All except Mandy. With only the family dog to talk to and a bunch of older brothers who have their own problems, she's having a hard time adjusting to going through life solo. When her parents go on a vacation by themselves, it's understood that Mandy will be staying with one of her brothers during the week-end.Read more ›
The One Left Behind is the fairly straight-forward tale of a girl who is accidentally left alone in her house for a weekend by her large family. (Home Alone, much?) She encounters a kid and his little brother who are on the run from some bad men and helps them escape. Also, she had a twin sister who died and her uncle has schizophrenia. These last two are the elements that seem like they should have been developed more. Interestingly, the schizophrenic character is very realistic, as though the author has some first hand experience with a person living with that particular mental illness.
The story climaxes and ends rather abruptly and there is no real twist involved. Mandy is a very sympathetic character and is well developed, although almost too introspective. No one else gets much dynamism to their character and I think that's what makes the book feel kind of flat. If you're looking for a good book by this author, try The Girl with the Silver Eyes.
With the family dog as company Mandy decides she'll just spend the weekend alone, rather than trying to track down her brothers or her parents who are enjoying a rare solitary weekend for their anniversary. Strange things begin to happen almost immediately. Food is stolen, footprints appear on the beach in front of an empty cottage and a TV is left on when there is no one else in the house. Mandy's state of mind intertwines with a suspenseful plot including the rescue of a toddler and his older brother. Mandy relies on memories of her braver sister to see her through her adventure and comes out of it believing that their bond will never be broken.
Award winning author Willo Davis Roberts was a skilled writer of young adult mysteries, including Don't Hurt Laurie! (Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, and Young Hoosier Book Award); The Magic Book (Library of Congress Children's Book of the Year); Megan's Island, The Absolutely True Story ... How I Visited Yellowstone Park with the Terrible Rupes, and Twisted Summer (each a recipient of the Edgar Allan Poe Best Juvenile Mystery Award).