• Interest Level: Grade 7 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

Back in grade school, Maxie and Rick were best friends. Rick would design crazy inventions, and Maxie, the artistic one, would draw them. Then something terrible happened to Rick, and he vanished from her school and her life. Years later, he shows up at Maxie’s high school. In some ways he’s the same person she once knew. But in other ways – frightening ones – he’s very, very different . . .

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Interest Level Grade 7 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 7
Genre Young Adult
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Publication Date 2008-08-01
Text Type Fiction—Paranormal
BISACS YAF051000, YAF045000
Dewey [Fic]
ATOS Reading Level 4.2
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 124631
Accelerated Reader® Points 6.0
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, and Reviewed

Author: Pat Schmatz

Pat Schmatz has lived in the Wisconsin woods of her childhood after years in Michigan, northern California, and Minneapolis. She's worked everywhere from a green bean canning factory to UC Berkeley campus. . . she's been a fitness consultant, legal secretary, stable hand, librarian, and forklift driver, all while continuing a lifelong quest for story in any form.

Illustrator: Bill Hauser

A Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art graduate, Bill Hauser's artwork has graced the record covers, t-shirts, and posters of numerous punk, hardcore, and heavy metal bands from around the world. Inspired by '80s rock and roll artists like Pushead and Richard Corben, Hauser's attention to detail, jagged line work and bright color schemes reflect the chaotic urgency of punk rock gigs. Bill Hauser is well known in the realm of underground music, having worked with bands like: Ghoul, Bad Religion, ANTiSEEN, Hirax, In Defence, Skit System, BANE, Hellnation and Ozzy Osbourne. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.


  • Lambda Literary Awards Finalist, Short-listed, 2008


Kirkus Reviews

“Rick and Maxie’s thought-provoking story, juxtaposed against Hauser’s renderings of Maxie’s cartoons, is unexpectedly, richly dark, with no easy answers. Both chilling and sweet.”
Kirkus Reviews

Library Media Connection

“The dialogue zips along as Maxie’s struggles with her conscience and comes to an understanding of what friendship really means. For mature middle school and high school students, the dialogue and issues presented will ring true and reflect the difficulties faced when determining the right action to take. Recommended.”
Library Media Connection

School Library Journal

“. . .Maxie’s voice captures the insecurity and wish to fit in that color the adolescent years. . .”
School Library Journal