Hardcover, 439 pagesPublished May 22nd 2018 by Katherine Tegen BooksMonday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.
As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
I first listened to this book back in March. Lucky enough to receive an advance copy of the audiobook, I thought I’d give Jackson’s work a try. Many of my coworkers in the children’s department enjoyed the twists and turns in Tiffany D. Jackson’s first book, Allegedly, however they were not ready for the emotional roller coaster they would find themselves in with Claudia and Monday.
Monday’s Not Coming takes place in Southeast, D.C., a part of our nation’s capital that is often forgotten about. When Claudia returns from summer vacation at the start of eight grade, she finds that her best friend, Monday, hasn’t shown up to school. When Monday is nowhere to be found, she takes matters into her own hands and tries to find her best friend. Due to the multiple timelines in the novel, the reader is exposed to the relationship Monday and Claudia had before the disappearance – how sheltered Claudia was and how Monday needed sheltering.
I recently read the novel again for my November book group meeting. Although I knew how the story was going to end, I still found Claudia’s determination mesmerizing, and I was once again emotionally invested in finding Monday. I could feel Claudia’s panic and desperation to find her friend. I could also feel the sting of the adults turned a deaf ear to the young teenager and refused to listen to her worries and fears. Monday’s Not Coming is a Young Adult novel marketed to teenagers. As an adult, I found myself pondering over the question asked within the pages of the story:
Who’s really responsible for your well-being — your family, the government, or your community?
And though we may find ourselves having a difference of opinion when answering that question, Monday’s Not Coming is a book everyone should find themselves reading and discussing with others.
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