Listen to Becky Citra
reading Chapter 1 of


Orca Book Publishers

Pub Date: 
March 2011

$ 9.95

My Books


Ages 9 - 13

178 pages, 25 chapters


* Missing is a Silver Birch Honour Book
* Missing is the winner of the 2013 SYRC Diamond    Willow Award
* Shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Mystery Award
Translated into 6 European languages

The Story

"I like being alone," I say. "Honestly. Groups just aren't my thing. It's actually fun not having friends."
I don't know why I said that. It was supposed to be funny, but it sounds pathetic. Van's face is more transparent than mine. He doesn't embarrass easily but he definitely looks annoyed.
"I don't think sarcasm suits you," he says stiffly.
I'm tired of talking about this. I stand up and stretch. "Have you ever seen Renegade?" I ask.
"Who's Renegade?" says Van.
"A horse," I say. "Come on."

Thea and her dad are always on the move, from one small Cariboo town to another, trying to leave the past behind. They never stay long enough in one place for Thea to make friends, but when her dad gets work renovating a guest ranch on Gumboot Lake, she dares to hope that their wandering days are over. At the ranch she makes friends with Van, a local boy, and works hard to build the trust of an abused horse. When Thea unearths a decades-old mystery, she finally starts to come to terms with the losses in her own life

Becky talks about her 2013 Silver Birch
nominee Missing.


What people are saying about Missing
Reading this first person narrative, I became truly enthralled. Becky Citra's thirty years experience of ranch life and horses shines as does her powerful writing. The descriptions engage the senses. The pacing will keep the targeted readers out of breath as they quickly turn the pages to find out what happens next. The characters are engaging and alive.

Canadian Teacher Magazine Jan/Feb 2012
Thea is a strong likable character with an appealing prickly nature, a desire for roots and plenty of quiet determination. Citra's skilful weaving of the plot threads, the careful building of tension and her spare and evocative prose make Missing a wonderful book.

FernFolio Editor Feb 2012
The story's chilling recollections of sibling rivalry, and dramatic moments involving Thea training Renegade the horse, should keep readers engrossed. The plot, which is established early, immediately draws the reader into the characters' lives, while the descriptions of Thea's observations and surroundings . . . captivate the senses.

CM Volume XVII Number 22 February, 2011
The theme of finding yourself by letting yourself care for another is subtly and richly conveyed. Citra has written several books for the Orca Young Readers series; fans who are now older should flock to this gripping novel.

Booklist May 1, 2011
Citra's writing is solid and Thea is strong and appealing.

Kirkus Reviews March 2011
A quick and engaging read. Readers who live with one parent, lost a parent or feel like outsiders will especially be able to relate to the main character, Thea. Also, readers who are drawn to mysteries will find it interesting to try to put together the pieces of a crime that remained unsolved for more than fifty years. Young readers will appreciate the speed with which the plot develops.

Voya April 2011

Missing succeeds in winning over hearts with a passion for horses. It is easy to connect with the main character Thea, due to her curiosity and courage as she faces some of the typical problems of a teenage life. The book is an easy read, has a terrific plot and comes together nicely because of its great presentation . . . it would be most appealing to middle school students. It is time, as Thea would say, to find a comfortable place to curl up with a good book.

Teen reviewer for Voya April 2011

The story is fast moving and compelling... .The concurrent story line of Thea's maturing relationships with those around her add another layer of interest.

School Library Journal September 2011

The novel provides just enough foreshadowing that readers will enjoy piecing together the mystery. The theme of fitting in and finding acceptance will resonate with many middle-aged readers.

Library Media Connection October 2011

The action begins right away and the tension is kept tight with hints and foreshadowing. Renegade's rehabilitation . . . is described with feeling and depth . . . every step of the process is accurate. The mystery thoughtfully leads readers through themes of guilt, jealousy and death. Missing is a considered and thoughtful novel for horse-lovers and non-horse-lovers alike.

Canadian Children's Book News Summer 2011

The novel provides just enough foreshadowing that readers will enjoy piecing together the story. The theme of fitting in and finding acceptance will resonate with many middle-aged readers. RECOMMENDED

Library Media Connection

If you're looking for a good family mystery this is the book for you. I loved this novel and I think you will too.

Reviewed by Erin Terrace Public Library

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