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A moving, voice-driven novel about friendship, responsibility, and fighting against unfair expectations, for fans of Rebecca Stead and Erin Entrada Kelly.
Max wishes he could go back in time to before he was diagnosed with ADHD, before he grew to be the tallest kid in his class, and before he and his best friends went into the woods in the middle of the night. Max doesn’t remember what happened after he left his friends Will and Joey and the older kids who took them there. He’s not sure if he wants to remember. Knowing isn’t going to make Joey talk to him again, or bring Will out of his coma.
When the local authorities run out of leads, Max realizes that without his help, they may never know what really happened to Will. Charged by the idea that he may be the key to uncovering the truth, Max pairs up with classmate and aspiring journalist Sam to investigate what really happened that night. But not everyone in the community wants that night to be remembered.
About the Author
Melanie Conklin is the author of Counting Thyme and Every Missing Piece. Melanie grew up in North Carolina and worked as a product designer before she began her writing career. When she's not writing, Melanie spends her time doodling and dreaming up new ways to be creative. She lives in New Jersey with her family.
"A Perfect Mistake is a compelling novel of friendship, responsibility, and standing up for what's right, even when it's hard. I love all of Melanie Conklin's books. They just get better and better. This is my favorite so far."—Erin Entrada Kelly, Newbery Medal winner of Hello, Universe and Newbery Honor author of We Dream of Space
“A creepy and dark setting, misleading clues, threats against the investigator--what more do you want in a mystery? But as it turns out, Max faces even deeper mysteries in discovering himself and his place in the world, and in the end, those are the poignant discoveries we're cheering about. A powerful novel that affirms difference and openness as we watch a boy hold onto friendship with a grip that will not let go.”—Two-time Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt
“Accurately reflecting the experiences of adolescents with ADHD, Conklin crafts a must-read mystery filled with heart.”—Adrianna Cuevas, Pura Belpré honor author of The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez and Cuba in My Pocket
"A fast-paced, powerful novel with spot-on representation of ADHD. While ADHD presents extraordinary challenges, it also presents extraordinary gifts, a truth Conklin deftly weaves throughout this gripping mystery. Readers will fall in love with Max and his courage to seek answers and stand up for himself. Max’s journey navigating the gauntlet of shifting friendship dynamics and self-acceptance is both realistic and moving. A must-have book, particularly for schools and libraries. I’m so glad A Perfect Mistake is out in the world."—Debbie Reed Fischer, ADHD advocate and award-winning author of This Is Not the Abby Show
"I came for the ADHD representation and stayed for the mystery, the voice, the deeply nuanced emotion of this masterful book."—Caroline Gertler, author of Many Points of Me and Where You’ve Got to Be
"Once you start reading you won't want to stop!"—Lisa Fipps, author of Michael L. Printz Honor Book Starfish
"Conklin expertly portrays Max’s challenges, diving deeply into what it means to be accountable and not to carry guilt that isn’t yours to own. Middle-grade realistic fiction and mystery lovers will gobble this one up."—Booklist
“[G]ripping. Mystery and just a little peril make an absorbing vehicle for an exploration of ADHD.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Conklin’s emotionally grounded mystery imbues Max’s quest for truth with a perceptive portrait of a kid learning to understand his ADHD.”—Publishers Weekly