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Hold Fast (Paperback)

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From NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Blue Balliett, the story of a girl who falls into Chicago's shelter system, and from there must solve the mystery of her father's strange disappearance.

Where is Early's father? He's not the kind of father who would disappear. But he's gone . . . and he's left a whole lot of trouble behind.

As danger closes in, Early, her mom, and her brother have to flee their apartment. With nowhere else to go, they are forced to move into a city shelter. Once there, Early starts asking questions and looking for answers. Because her father hasn't disappeared without a trace. There are patterns and rhythms to what's happened, and Early might be the only one who can use them to track him down and make her way out of a very tough place.

With her signature, singular love of language and sense of mystery, Blue Balliett weaves a story that takes readers from the cold, snowy Chicago streets to the darkest corner of the public library, on an unforgettable hunt for deep truths and a reunited family.

About the Author

Blue Balliett is the author of several bestselling, acclaimed mystery novels, including Hold Fast, Chasing Vermeer (a Book Sense Book of the Year and an Edgar Award winner), The Wright 3, The Calder Game, and The Danger Box. She writes in the laundry room of her home in Chicago, Illinois, and you can find her online at

Praise For…


"Balliett is an original . . . Thick with devilish red herrings, this smart, playful story never stops challenging (and exhilarating) the audience." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"Puzzles, codes, letters, number and wordplay, a bit of danger, a vivid sense of place, and a wealth of quirky characters enrich the exciting, fast-paced story that's sure to be relished by mystery lovers." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

Praise for THE WRIGHT 3:

*"Another tour de force." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

Praise for HOLD FAST:

"[Blue Balliett's] latest and most heart-rending novel . . . [The] multi-faceted Early Pearl, ever observant and always pondering, shines as bright as any diamond." -- NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

*"Wonderful . . . will pierce all readers" -- BOOKLIST, starred review

*"A moving story of homelessness, family, and the love of words and books . . . Enthralling and satisfying." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

*"Balliett paints a vivid picture, a literary composition reminiscent of an Impressionist painting . . . Excellent." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review

"This novel abounds in heart, shining a spotlight on the gritty truths about homelessness." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY


A 2013 Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner

Product Details
ISBN: 9780545299893
ISBN-10: 0545299896
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Publication Date: January 27th, 2015
Pages: 288
Language: English