This is the third book I have read by Sid Fleischman and he stays true to form. Fleischman seems to enjoy throwing strange twists into his stories, something to catch the reader unawares. In Disappearing Act, siblings Kevin and Holly still reeling from having lost their archeologist mother to a cave-in in Mexico must now flee for their lives because they are being stalked by a man in a white suit. Kevin and Holly end up in Venice, California where they change their names to Pepe and Chickadee, dye their hair and try to blend in with the street performers. The story has a wackiness to it that I have found in other Fleischman tales.
The main characters in this story manage to survive by using their wits, relying on friends and luck. I found the crazy story line intriguing and rather enjoyed the unusual cast of characters found working the beach scene. If you are looking for an offbeat story, one that keeps you a little off balance then this book is for you.
It takes a little while to become accustomed to Sid Fleischman’s sense of humor but once you get the hang of it, his stories are fun. Do not go looking for the tried and true or a story that wraps up in a nice tight ball. Just be willing to roll along with the tale and you will find yourself quietly enjoying yourself. Age range: Middle school readers on up.
Disappearing Act by Sid Fleischman. Greenwillow Books, NY. 2003. 129pp.