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Hidden: A Novel

Hidden: A Novel

Автором Helen Frost

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Hidden: A Novel

Автором Helen Frost

4/5 (17 оценки)
171 pages
1 hour
Sep 6, 2016


When Wren Abbott and Darra Monson are eight years old, Darra's father steals a minivan. He doesn't know that Wren is hiding in the back. The hours and days that follow change the lives of both girls. Darra is left with a question that only Wren can answer. Wren has questions, too.

Years later, in a chance encounter at camp, the girls face each other for the first time. They can finally learn the truth—that is, if they're willing to reveal to each other the stories that they've hidden for so long. Told from alternating viewpoints, this novel-in-poems reveals the complexities of memory and the strength of a friendship that can overcome pain.

Sep 6, 2016

Об авторе

Helen Frost is the author of several books for young people, including Hidden, Diamond Willow, Crossing Stones, The Braid, and Keesha’s House, selected an Honor Book for the Michael L. Printz Award. Helen Frost was born in 1949 in South Dakota, the fifth of ten children. She recalls the summer her family moved from South Dakota to Oregon, traveling in a big trailer and camping in places like the Badlands and Yellowstone. Her father told the family stories before they went to sleep, and Helen would dream about their travels, her family, and their old house. “That’s how I became a writer,” she says. “I didn’t know it at the time, but all those things were accumulating somewhere inside me.” As a child, she loved to travel, think, swim, sing, learn, canoe, write, argue, sew, play the piano, play softball, play with dolls, daydream, read, go fishing, and climb trees. Now, when she sits down to write, her own experiences become the details of her stories. Helen has lived in South Dakota, Oregon, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Scotland, Colorado, Alaska, California, and Indiana. She currently lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her family.

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Лучшие цитаты

  • Sam finally jumps into the water, looks around forMiles, and grabs him, spluttering. I did it!I did it! I never thought I could,but I did! That must feel good—to help little kids get up theirnerve to try something they don’t thinkthey can do.

  • My mom told me to leave your mom’s  purse in the car. So I did.I knew that—it was in the car when the police found it.  But I kept  a little photo album  I found under the front seat.

  • Come back next summer!” she writes. I doubt I’llbe able to, but K.C. says, as she watches me read it, There are lots ofways we can help make that happen, Darra.

  • You remember me?You watched me take my test! Will you be my buddy? Who knewI could make someone so happy? Okay,I answer, and he gives me a huge smile.

  • West, shouting: You’ll get the phone back  when I’m good and ready  to give it to you.  Forget you ever heard of this girl.  It’s nothing  to do with us.  Was Stacey crying?

Предварительный просмотр книги

Hidden - Helen Frost



The Way You Might Remember Your Best Friend

Wren Abbott


I was a happy little girl wearing a pink dress,

       sitting in our gold minivan,

       dancing with my doll, Kamara.

I’ll be right back, Mom promised.

Leave the music on, I begged,

                     so she left her keys


              while she

                     ran in to pay for gas

                     and buy a Diet Coke.


I think about that little girl

       the way you might remember your best friend

                     who moved away.

              Sitting in the middle seat

                     beside an open window,

                     her seatbelt fastened,

                     she looked out at the world.


And then she heard

       a gunshot

       from inside the store.

That’s when she—when I—

       stopped breathing.

              I clicked my seatbelt off,

              dived into the back, and

              ducked down on the floor

                     to hide

                            under a blanket

                            until Mom

                            came back out.

I heard the car door open, heard it close.

       The music stopped.

       Why? Mom liked that song.

I breathed again. (Mom smelled like cigarettes.)

I pushed the blanket off my face,

       opened my mouth

       to ask,

What happened in there?

But then I heard a word Mom wouldn’t say.

       A man’s voice.

C’mon! Start! He was yelling at our car—

              and the car

              obeyed him.

              It started up

              just like it thought

                     Mom was driving.


Who was driving?

Had this man just shot someone? Had he

       shot … Mom?

If he found out I was back there

       what would he do to me?

       I pulled the blanket back over my face.

              (Pretend you’re Kamara.

              Don’t breathe. Don’t move.

              Be as small as you can—smaller.)

Sand on the floor of the car. I pressed hard.

       It stuck to my skin.

       I pressed harder.


              if you have to,

              but don’t move a muscle.)

Like a small rabbit

       that knows a cat is close by,

       I paid attention. I didn’t



I could tell which way we were headed—

       we stopped at the King Street stoplight.

              Left turn … right turn … left …

              He sped up.

       Was he trying to throw the police off our trail?

He stopped, got out of the car.

Where were we?

He got back in,

                           drove off faster.


       Yes—coming closer!

One time in first grade,

       a police officer came to our class.

              If someone tries to grab you, she said,

              "wave your arms, kick your legs.

              Yell at the top of your lungs,

              THIS MAN IS NOT MY FATHER."

The sirens meant

       someone might stop us—

              I could jump up.

              I could wave.

              I could yell.

But it didn’t happen.

We drove faster, farther.

       The sirens

              faded away in the distance.

Long straight road … curvy road …

Fast for a while. No stops.

       Right turn.

       Left turn.

              Stop. Go. Turn …

              I swallowed the panic that rose.

                     I didn’t throw up.


Sound of gravel. Dust in my throat.

(Don’t cough!)

Bumping along that dusty road,

       screaming inside.

       (Dad, where are you? Mom?)

              A phone rang—Dad’s ring on Mom’s phone!

              Mom must have left her phone in the car.

                     Her whole purse, down on the floor?

       (Do not—do not!—jump up and grab it.)

       I clenched my hands together.

GPS, the man snarled—I heard him dump

              Mom’s purse upside down.

              He opened a window.

              He closed it.

(Did he just toss Mom’s phone out the window?)


I put my thumb in my mouth

       like a little baby. I pulled my knees

              to my chin, and closed my eyes tight.

Where were we going?

What would happen to me when we got there?

After a long time—

       it felt like hours—

              the car slowed down.

       We made a sharp turn.

We stopped.

He got out.

I heard a garage door open.

He got back in the car.



       The garage door came down.

              The car door opened, slammed shut.

       I heard a dog.

              Barking or growling?

              In the garage or outside?

       Another door opened

                     and closed.

                     Had the man gone somewhere?


Carefully, I pushed back the blanket

       and looked around.

       I was alone

              in a very dark place.

I might have been wrong about Mom’s phone.

       I kept my head low,

              climbed into the middle seat,

                     leaned far enough forward

                     so I could see into the front.

       Mom’s water bottle—not quite empty.

       A chocolate chip granola bar.





       Her little album of pictures—

              me and Alex, her and Dad.

No wallet—she took that into the store.

No phone.


Where was I?

A messy garage—rakes and shovels,

       gas cans and broken-down boxes.

In the garage door,

       higher than I could reach,

       three small windows,

       a few rays of sun shining through them.

              Behind an old freezer—

              a door—to outside?

       A red-and-white boat

       on a trailer

       right next to the car.

If I could get out fast enough, he’d never know I was there.

       I told myself what to do, and I did it:

              Quietly—get out of the car with Kamara.

              Take the granola bar. Leave the water—

                     if I take that, he might notice it’s gone.

              Carefully tiptoe across the floor.

                     (The dog—outside—still growl-barking.)

              Squeeze behind the freezer.

                     Try to open the side door.


                            with a padlock

                            the size of my fist.


The freezer was empty, unplugged—it wouldn’t be cold.

Could I get inside, and hide there?

       No. A boy on the news

              got stuck inside an old freezer—

              he suffocated to death

                     before his mom found him.

                            I shivered.

       The boat?

              I might be tall enough

                     to climb in

                     if I stepped up on the trailer.

But I didn’t dare move.


I don’t know how long

       I stood there

       in my pink dress,

       mostly hidden

       behind the freezer.


A light came on. A door

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Что люди думают о Hidden

17 оценки / 17 Обзоры
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Отзывы читателей

  • (3/5)
    Good read, it went with a good pace, but I just felt like it was a quick read, as if a friend was telling you their encounter. The kidnapping part and the POV of Wren after was sad to read. I'll admit I cried at the ending though, when Darra introduced Wren to her mom.
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful verse novel told from two girls’ alternating points of view. When Wren was eight years old, her mother’s van was carjacked at the site of a robbery - and Wren was in the backseat. The carjacker was Darra’s father, who thought he just stole a car, but when the van was parked in Darra’s garage, Darra realized that the girl from the news, Wren, was inside. They encounter each other years later, each ashamed in different ways about what happened many years ago. The story is incredibly interesting and moving, and there is a hidden (no pun intended) code in the poetry that adds another dimension to the book once you’re finished. Highly recommended!
  • (3/5)
    I wasn't sure that I would enjoy a novel in verse. Surprisingly, I liked the story, and the verse format did not detract from that. I thought the author did a good job of showing the feelings of the two main characters. I could relate to the way that they both felt and thought the storyline was realistic for their age. This is my first novel by Frost, but I wouldn't turn down a second.
  • (5/5)
    Fans of Peg Kehret's Stolen Children and Runaway Twin will certainly want to read this unique book. Author Helen Frost alternates between her two main characters Wren Abbott and Darra Monson to tell the story of a car-jacking gone wrong. Wren is only eight years old when Darra's father steals her mother's car along with Wren who is hidden in the trunk. Wren spends a terrifying few days inside the Monson's garage, hearing Darra's father abuse his family. Darra attempts to help Wren, but the two don't exactly meet until six years after the abduction when Darra's father is in jail and the two girls coincidentally end up in the same cabin at summer camp. Can they overcome the horrible circumstances that connected them as children and realize friendship as teenagers? You must read Hidden to find out.
  • (4/5)
    Another excellent novel in verse from Helen Frost, impressively structured and richly layered.
  • (2/5)
    Two girls, two types of poetry, two viewpoints about a traumatic event.
  • (5/5)
    Quick read because it is told in free verse, but it still has a great emotional impact. Darra's father steals a minivan not knowing that Wren was left in the back seat. After taking the van home, he still doesn't realize she is there. Darra knows Wren is still in the garage, though her father thinks she has run off. Wren must find a way to escape without detection and Darra must find a way to forgive her father.
  • (4/5)
    A short novel in verse, this tells two girls' stories revolving around their shared experience as 8 year olds. Wren was inadvertently abducted by Darra's abusive and thieving father, and Dara tried to help her out. When they meet at camp as 14 year olds, their friendship is not automatic. The author's note at the end of the book would be helpful to have placed at the beginning. The "invented" form whereby the last word of Darra's lines form other sentences, while clever, does not work smoothly, since not all lines are included or obvious.
  • (5/5)
    Hidden is a great book about two girls named Darra and Wren whos lives completely changed after an incident. Wren is very frightened and the only thing she has with her is her doll Kamara. Darra's dad is an abusive, unemployed mechanic, that steals cars and then sells them. Darra is scared of her dad but still loves him but Darra doesn't want her dad to find out that she is helping Wren. A few years later the two girls meet up again at summer camp where they find themselves avoiding eachother. A few days later when they find out they are in some of the same classes in summer camp they start to talk to eachother and find out what actually happened a few years earlier. I didn't have any dislikes about this book. I thought it was a great book and a very quick read as it switches every chapter between the two girls talking.
  • (5/5)
    Hidden is a fantastic book by Helen Frost. At a young age, something very significant has changed Wren and Darra's life. Wren is alone, scared, worried. In the mix of all that, Darra does not know what is taking place in her garage. Later in life , they meet up again at Camp Okawood in Cabin 8. Both of them very hesitangt to talk to one another, but both discovered what truely happended and how their life has changed since then. The book gives you both point of view's, Wren and Darra's. You can see how they feel and what is going through their heads. I totally recommend this book for all ages and genders. You wont quit reading espically with the cliffhangers it leaves after every chapter.
  • (4/5)
    Hidden is told from two alternating points-of-views, Wren and Darra. Wren’s sections are told in free verse, while Darra’s sections are told in a unique form created by the author specifically for this book.This idea of an unintentional kidnapping was very intriguing to me. Wren is in the backseat of her mom’s minivan when it gets stolen. Too afraid to say anything, Wren stays hidden until the car comes to a stop where she finds herself closed in a garage. While hidden in the garage Wren learns about the man who took her and his family, which includes a daughter the same age as herself. The two girls never speak, they never even see each other, but it is with her help that Wren is able to stay hidden long enough to come up with a plan and make her escape.Years later the two girls end up in the same cabin at summer camp. At first they both try to ignore each other and the past, but the past soon becomes too big a burden that neither of them can ignore anymore.Wren and Darra were both likable main characters who were easy to sympathize with. Both girls had been affected by this event in their pasts, but it had changed their lives in different ways. The main focus of the story was definitely character growth as we see these two girls overcome their painful past and start to forge a strong friendship that will continue into the future.The thing I really liked was how creative the author was with this unique form of storytelling. The poems told from Darra’s view were created in a way that when you read the last word of all the long lines straight down the page from top to bottom it tells you more of the story. I thought this was a really unique and fun way to bring more depth to the story. Once I had finished the book, I saw the authors note on this and really enjoyed flipping back through the book to read these little bits on Darra’s life that give us a bit of a deeper look into her side of things, and how life changed for her as well as Wren.Overall, this was a unique and enjoyable read. It’s the first of Helen Frost’s books that I’ve read but it certainly won’t be my last.
  • (5/5)
    Fans of Peg Kehret's Stolen Children and Runaway Twin will certainly want to read this unique book. Author Helen Frost alternates between her two main characters Wren Abbott and Darra Monson to tell the story of a car-jacking gone wrong. Wren is only eight years old when Darra's father steals her mother's car along with Wren who is hidden in the trunk. Wren spends a terrifying few days inside the Monson's garage, hearing Darra's father abuse his family. Darra attempts to help Wren, but the two don't exactly meet until six years after the abduction when Darra's father is in jail and the two girls coincidentally end up in the same cabin at summer camp. Can they overcome the horrible circumstances that connected them as children and realize friendship as teenagers? You must read Hidden to find out.
  • (4/5)
    When I saw that the book was written in verse I panicked at first- but I didn't need to. This book reads easily and warmly. A girl, Wren, is left in the family minivan in the parking lot of a supermarket while her mom goes in to shop. Wren hears a gunshot, and a man gets in the minivan and drives away while Wren hides, terrified in the back. When the man finally parks in his garage, Wren spends a couple of scary days hiding in the unfamiliar garage, listening to the man yell at and possibly beat the adult woman and the young girl, Darra, inside the house. Darra becomes aware that Wren is hiding in their garage, partly because the girl's disappearance is all over the news. Wren manages to escape, which leads the police to Darra's house and lands Darra's dad in prison for a long time. Flash forward a few years, and the two girls end up at the same summer camp. they know who each other is from the news reports and from the news reports and from the unusual names. Will they be able to come to terms with the wrenching events of their past? Is friendship at all possible? I really liked this book, and I think middle school readers will too.
  • (3/5)
    The dramatic premise of this story and the ripped-from-the-headlines beginning are certain to appeal to young teens. The book's tween-appropriate while still feeling YA enough (not too young). After the dramatic beginning, this is very much a summer story, a camp story, a story about girls becoming friends, a story about family and how family issues can affect kids.
  • (4/5)
    This is a book written in verse with an ingenious hidden narrative running throughout the story.
  • (5/5)
    I loved the premise of the book when I read about it online. When I received a copy for review I was thrilled. The story is told in poetry and alternating points of view. You have Wren's story about being inadvertently kidnapped by Darra's father. Then you have Darra's story. It is obvious that they blame each other for what they perceive to be the truth. It isn't until they end up at the same camp that they learn each other's stories. At first they try to ignore each other. When they are finally put in a situation where they must face each other, then the healing can begin. I kept thinking how I would feel if I was each of them. They each were right in their feelings if you look at their situation through their eyes. The one thing I really loved about this book was the author's note that told you about a special form. If you read the author's note she tells you how to go back into Darra's story and read it a special way to get a hidden story. This was simple, yet suspenseful. This is a book that didn't even make it to my school shelves before it was checked out. An excellent book to recommend to everyone, especially to reluctant readers. They see the short lines and think they can read it. Once they get into the story they are hooked.
  • (4/5)
    Novels in verse have grown on me. Hidden was a quick read because I needed to know what would happen to the girls at camp. Dual POV shown as different poetry patterns was refreshing.