She is not invisible by Marcus Sedgwick

cover image

Indigo, 2014. ISBN 9781780621340
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Mystery. Blindness. 2015 YALSA Best fiction for Young adults. Telegraph's Top 10 YA books 2013, UKYA Awards 2014 Best Adventure.
When Laureth Peak's father's notebook turns up in New York, when he is supposed to be doing research in Austria, Laureth knows that something is wrong. Taking advantage of her mother's absence, she steals her credit card and flies off to New York, taking along her brother Benjamin, as her eyes. Laureth is blind but that doesn't stop her using all her senses and her intelligence in searching out the mystery of her missing father.
This story is highly successful on many fronts. The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Jack Peak is tightly plotted and Laureth and Benjamin have quite a few adventures as they retrace the steps that their father has taken. The determination and willpower of Laureth shines through, and Benjamin is a fabulous sidekick. The troubles surrounding Laureth's parents are also teased out subtly and his father's obsession with synchronicity, or coincidence, and the references to Einstein, Edgar Allan Poe and other authors are quite thought provoking. However it is the understanding that the reader gains about what it is like to be blind that makes this a standout novel.
Sedgwick is an award winning author whose skill shines out in this tightly and expertly written plot. A book trailer can be found here.
This would be an ideal class set or literature circle book as it has multiple themes that could engender discussion and widen the world view of its readers.
Pat Pledger