Friends are like family. So, when your best friend goes missing what do you do? If you are anything like Claudia, you go looking for answers.
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany Jackson takes you on a whirlwind of emotion with this thought-provoking piece. The novel opens by introducing us to Claudia an 8th grader from Washington, D.C. who is the only person to really take notices that Monday, her best friend is missing. Mostly narrated by Claudia readers are taken on the journey of uncovering what happened to Monday. This realistic fiction immediately captures its readers as you weave back in forth throughout the timeline of the events surrounding the disappearance.
“This is the story of how my best friend disappeared. How nobody noticed she was gone except me. And how nobody cared until they found her . . . one year later.” -Claudia
What I enjoyed about this novel is how real it felt while reading. You are immersed in the DC culture with slang and terminology that is indicative of the area. Jackson does a great job of depicting the differences in the home life of the two girls. In addition to capturing the happy and sad times, they shared together while dealing with middle school drama and family life. You instantly get the feeling that something bad has happened to Monday. That dark unknown chases you throughout the book as Claudia unveiled what happens.
What I found interesting was the constant dismissal of Claudia’s concern around Monday being missing. Claudia is an only child with parents who have sheltered her. Her mom especially keeps a tight rein over her movements. Having her do things like check-in with the local librarian every day after school to leave what she calls “breadcrumbs”. Claudia is naive about a lot of things that were going on around her, which may play into why she was so comfortable with her concerns being dismissed. From school officials to police and even Claudia’s parents, everyone would find a way to brush off the fact that Monday was gone. As I was reading, I found myself getting really upset at the fact that no one was listening.
Author Tiffany D. Jackson explaining her inspiration for the novel and why she felt it was an important message to convey.
Like Monday many black children go missing each year. According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Data in 2019, 155,966 of those children were black. In a 2010 study research showed that the news covered fewer stories of black missing children when compared to national statistics. While the subject matter is hard to swallow, Monday’s Not Coming shines a bright light on the issue of missing children, child abuse and neglect, poverty, bullying, and mental health. If you are looking for a realistic mystery with a coming of age story intertwined this is the novel for you.
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