Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Picture Me Gone

Rosoff, Meg (Author)
Doubleday Canada 2013. 246 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9780385681896 (paperback)
9780399257650 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

characterization, language conventions, point of view, setting

Award

National Book Award Finalist – 2013

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Powerful writing brings to life this low-key yet haunting tale through the remarkable character of Mila, the only child of gifted, slightly eccentric parents. Mila’s penetrating observations are delivered with such direct, concise language that sheer reading pleasure almost competes with the storyline.

But characters blossom under this masterly style. “‘Hmm,’ is what she says now, when I tell her about cute baby Gabriel and Honey and the feeling in the beautiful glass house. And then she sighs, and says, ‘Do be careful, my darling, families can be so complicated.’” Exchanges between Mila and her friends add notes of spirited fun.

The mysterious disappearance of Gil’s friend drives the plot forward, with a father-daughter road trip through upstate New York. While they both learn much about this old friend, Mila also gains new perspective on her father. Themes emerge of personal responsibility, secrets and adult fallibility.

Offering a peek into diverse kinds of families and family dynamics, this story’s revelations come gradually, rather than with a final bang. They finish on a melancholy, yet wiser, note. “The world will trundle along, he says . . . The world has seen worse than us . . . it is not so easily shocked.”

  •  

    ​The novel's setting (upstate New York) is likely familiar to many. Make connection to your own experiences on family trips.

  •  

    Discuss how the representations of Mila and the other teens confirm or refute dominant ideas about pre-teens. How are the adults constructed?

  •  

    Consider this text, in addition to others with strong young protagonists, as immersion into text in preparation for an inquiry into how pre-adolescents are constructed in YA literature. Using a research process, create an inquiry question, gather data and present the findings to an audience of peers and adults.

  •  Discuss the possible differences between England and the USA. What about between a city like London and a small town in upstate New York? Take notes and check facts where necessary.
  •  Mila wonders whether her trip should be considered a failure or an unhappy success. What do you think? Support your answer.
  •  The trip forces Mila to wonder about a variety of issues. Establish teams and debate topics such as those inspired by the author: Are hunting, lying, vegetarianism or genetically-modified organisms good or bad? Suggest other topics.
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To solve problems
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Personal Development