Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

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Colin Fischer

The 14-year-old hero of this extraordinary debut novel is like no one else we've met in children's literature. As a teen with Asperger's syndrome, Colin Fischer may find social interactions challenging, but he is "high functioning," brilliant and focused.

On his first day at West Valley High, the wrong student is accused of bringing a gun to school. Colin knows that Wayne Connelly, who has bullied Colin for as long as he can remember, eats too neatly to have smeared cake icing on the gun. Colin is determined to find the true culprit. A generous smattering of entries from his notebook reveals how Colin's mind works, and extensive footnotes let readers inside Colin's favorite films and obsessions. A photo of Basil Rathbone hangs over Colin's bed ("the definitive inhabitant of the role of World's Greatest Detective," Sherlock Holmes). His pursuit of the truth takes Colin outside of his comfort zone.

As Colin works on solving the mystery of the gun's owner, he is also figuring out Colin--and learning that his own life is, in many ways, a mystery to be solved. Though he's a creature of routine, Colin still manages to surprise us. Readers will take this hero to heart. --Jennifer Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness