First on my list of new year's resolutions is to read 100 Preteen/Teen novels by Canadian authors before the end of 2018. Some of these authors are well-known in classrooms across the country—the globe, in some cases—but others are much less so, but they have talent none-the-less.
Today I #am reading Douglas Davey's M is for Mary, a girl haunted from within by mysterious dark shadows. This secret has cut M off from the world around her, yet it is a secret she must keep at any cost. But when events threaten to crack open her self-imposed armor, Mary starts to question the very thing that has burdened her for so long. In the face of uncertainty, she must now learn how to use the power of the shadows for herself.
Filled with insight, vivid dialogue, and splashes of humour, M in the Abstract is a compelling teen novel of isolation, family, friendship and, ultimately, self-acceptance.
"The strength of this novel lies in its characters, and the skillful way in which Davey portrays Mary's relationship with the people around her—from her mother's well-meaning but failed efforts to draw her out, to her confusion at attracting the attention of two different boys, and her easy acceptance by Cammy and Krystin. With each encounter, readers witness Mary's growing stresses, and they will feel as though they are brought to the edge right along with Mary. Also interesting is the author's choice to be deliberately ambiguous in parts of the novel. Mary herself feels ambiguous and unknowing, and it certainly leaves room for readers to draw their own conclusions about what those answers are. Original and timely, teens looking for a contemporary, literary read will find much to enjoy with this novel."
—Canadian Children's Book News