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One Thing Stolen
ISBN: 9781452152134
Author: Kephart, Beth
Publisher: Chronicle Books Llc
Published: April 2016
Retail: $9.99    OUR PRICE: $1.99
     You Save 80%
Binding Type: Paperback
Annotation: Spending a year in Italy with her family, Nadia Cara's kleptomaniac tendencies grow as she becomes increasingly detached from everything around her, except for an elusive Italian boy only she has seen.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Kleptomania; Fiction.
Dementia; Fiction.
Family life; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2016001198
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Target Grade: 7-9
Grade level: 7-9
Physical Information: 0.75" H x 75.00" L x 5.50" W
Bargain Category: Middle School, High School, Growing Up, Geography
Grade level(s): 7th, 8th, 9th
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Beth Kephart is the award-winning author of books for both adults and young readers, including Going Over and This Is the Story of You. She lives in Devon, Pennsylvania, and teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Pennsylvania.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2016 Spring)
Living in Florence while her historian father researches the city's devastating 1966 flood, seventeen-year-old Nadia develops a rare neurological disorder that inhibits language, drives compulsions, and increases creativity. Nadia's first-person narrative is fittingly hallucinatory; events become clearer when best friend Maggie narrates. While the flood backstory highlights appropriate themes of loss and chaos, the city's rebirth evokes miracles and salvation.
Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2015 #4)
Seventeen-year-old Nadia Cara's family is living in Florence, Italy, while her historian father researches the devastating flood of 1966. Here Nadia begins to develop a rare neurological disorder that inhibits language skills and also drives compulsions (she steals items from all over the city) and obsessions (notably with a mysterious boy named Benedetto, whom her family doubts is real). But another symptom of frontotemporal dementia is increased creativity: "the part of the brain that generates art is growing, gaining weight, thriving…A brain rearranging itself." For Nadia this creativity manifests itself in weaving "gorgeous," intricate nests out of found (or stolen) things such as ribbons and grass and flowers and strips of paper torn out of a book. Nadia's first-person narrative is staccato and almost hallucinatory, which is fitting given her mental state but may leave readers feeling disoriented. Events become clearer, though, when Nadia's best friend Maggie takes over the narration. Secondary characters, such as family-friend/doctor Katherine, are three-dimensional and useful to the story, and the city of Florence is enlivened beautifully as well. While the flood backstory highlights appropriate themes of loss and chaos, the city's rebirth also evokes miracles and salvation -- things Kephart leaves readers hopeful for at the end of this unique, moving story. katrina hedee Copyright 2014 Horn Book Magazine.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2015 February #4)

Nadia Cara's family relocates to Florence from Philadelphia so her history professor father can write a book on a 1966 flood that devastated the Italian city. The book project stalls, but more troubling is Nadia's sudden transformation from academic prodigy to secret-keeping thief. Inexplicably, she begins to lose the ability to speak while simultaneously becoming obsessed with constructing bird nests from random items she steals around town. For the first two-thirds of the novel, Nadia narrates her own story, but it can be difficult to reconcile the inconsistencies in her voice: sometimes, her language is lyrical, at other times, she's unable to answer a simple question. The last third of the story is told by Nadia's best friend, Maggie, who arrives from Philadelphia in a desperate effort to help her friend reconnect with the real world. Like Nadia's faux bird nests, this is a novel with many layers, ambitiously constructed, but the choice to have most of it told by a poetic narrator said to be in the throes of losing her language skills ultimately makes it less than convincing. Ages 13–up Agent: Amy Rennert, Amy Rennert Agency. (Apr.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2015 March)

Gr 9 Up—This is an intense and ultimately hopeful look at a debilitating mental disorder and a family in crisis. The setting is Florence, where the Caras, Americans from Philadelphia are residing while the professor researches the 1966 flood that nearly destroyed the storied city. His precocious children should be thriving there, especially his daughter and biggest fan, but 17-year-old Nadia is in deep trouble. She has been isolating herself, slipping out on her own, and stealing random items that she compulsively weaves into elaborate nests. She cannot explain her behavior and seems to be losing her ability to speak altogether. Kephart deftly switches between the girl's past and familiar life at home and the scary, precarious existence she is experiencing in Italy. The real-time narrative consists of short staccato sentences, sensory descriptions, and snippets of actual or imagined visions (a boy, a Vespa, and a fluorescent pink duffle). Nadia's psychic pain and confusion are palpable. Once she hits bottom, her loving, but distracted family members rally round and mobilize to get her the professional help she needs. That her father just happens to know a famous, retired neurologist who can devote herself to Nadia's care is almost too good to be true. She is also able to find just the right doctor to immediately identify Nadia's rare disorder. But this novel is about much more than medicine. Nadia's parents arrange for her best friend from home to join them aboard, and she picks up the narrative at the two two-thirds mark and searches for the elusive boy with whom Nadia is obsessed. The boy, Benedetto, narrates the last section, which leaves readers with a measure of hope for the future. VERDICT Kephart's artful novel attests to the power of love and beauty to thrive even in the most devastating of circumstances.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal

[Page 157]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.