Sadie (Summers)

Courtney Summers, 2018
Wednesday Books
320 pp. 

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial-like podcast which follows the clues she's left behind. And an ending you won't be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page. (From the publisher.)

Author Bio
Where—Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Awards—Cybils Award
Currently—lives near Belleville, Ontario

Courtney Summers is a Canadian writer of young adult fiction. Her best known works are Cracked Up to Be, This is Not a Test, and All the Rage.

In 2008, when she was 22, Summers published her first novel, Cracked Up to Be. The debut won the 2009 Cybils Award for YA Fiction. Her second novel, Some Girls Are, came out 2010 and received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal and was a 2010 Goodreads Choice Nominee in the YA Fiction category. Both novels were repackaged in 2013 as a 2-in-1 edition titled What Goes Around.

Summers' third novel, Fall for Anything, was released in 2010, receiving starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews and Booklist.

Up to this point, Summers' novels were all contemporary and realistic. But her 2002 novel, This is Not a Test, is set during a zombie apocalypse. It received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was optioned for television by Sony. In 2015, Summers released Please Remain Calm, an e-novella sequel to This is Not a Test.

Summers' fifth novel, All the Rage, was her hardcover debut. Released in 2015, it was chosen as the sixth official selection of Tumblr's Reblog Book Club and received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal. It was also named a Spring 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection.

On April 14, 2015, to mark the release of All the Rage, Summers launched the hashtag campaign #ToTheGirls, encouraging people to send messages of support and positivity to girls across social media. #ToTheGirls trended worldwide on Twitter. Notable press coverage included The Today Show. It was named one of the most important feminist hashtags of 2015 by Mic News.

Sadie came out in 2018. Like her other books, it too received stars from the four major book reviewers, ths time from all four: Kirkus, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly.

Summers has also contributed short stories to the anthologies Defy the Dark and Violent Ends. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 10/5/2018.)

Book Reviews
(Starred review) [A] taut, suspenseful book about abuse and power that feels personal, as if Summers …can’t take one more dead or abused girl. Readers may well feel similarly (Ages 13–up).
Publishers Weekly

(Starred review) —[C]ompelling.… It's impossible to not be drawn into this haunting thriller of a book. A heartrending must-have (Gr 9-up). —Amanda Mastrull
School Library Journal

(Starred review) Though Sadie’s story is occasionally a bit overwrought, her hunt for Mattie’s killer is captivating, and Summers excels at slowly unspooling both Sadie’s and West’s investigations at a measured, tantalizing pace. —Sarah Hunter

(Starred review) Sadie is seeking her sister's killer; months later, podcast producer West McCray seeks to learn why Sadie abandoned her car and vanished.… [C]hild sexual abuse permeates the novel…. A riveting tour de force (Ages14-18).
Kirkus Reviews

Discussion Questions
1. In what ways does the dual narrative structure of Sadie add to the reading experience?

2. In the first episode of The Girls, how does the way West describes the town of Cold Creek set up the tone for the rest of the story?

3. What role do the towns Sadie passes through (Cold Creek, Montgomery, Langford, and Farfield) play in this story? Each town has a distinct description; what do these settings tell you?

4. How does the podcast element add to the overall story of Sadie?

5. Why do you think podcasts have taken listeners by storm? What do you think it is about them that appeals to listeners?

6. What forces are working against Sadie? What obstacles has she had to overcome in order to survive?

7. Out of all the people who Sadie comes across in her journey, which person (or people) do you think has the most effect on her? And who do you think Sadie affected the most; why?

8. What effect do you think the postcard from L.A. was supposed to have versus the actual effect it had on Sadie and Mattie? Do you think that the sender regretted sending the postcard?

9. What do you think Sadie would say to West if they ever met in person? Do you think she’d like him? Would she trust him with her story?

10. At the end of the book, what do you think happened to Sadie?
(Questions issued by the publisher.)

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