Nobody Saw Anything


Twenty-four years ago this month, my first book for young readers, Someone Was Watching, was published by Albert Whitman.

Not long after that, Karin Snelson, a reviewer for Amazon (in the early days of its existence), wrote this:

“In one fleeting, sickening moment, the Bartons’ precious 3-year-old girl, Molly, disappears, and judging from the coloring book floating down by the dock, she is lost forever to the river. One evening, about three months after “the Incident,” 13-year-old Chris Barton watches the family-vacation video he made in the last hours of Molly’s life. Clues in the background–including the appearance of a white ice-cream truck–don’t add up, and Chris becomes convinced his sister is still alive. With the help of his best friend, Pat, he sets out to track her down, despite his parents’ grief-weary refusal to even consider the possibility that little Molly is anywhere but in the river. What follows is a riveting journey, where the boys are on their own in a heroic, terrifying, nail-biting adventure. The events that unfold in this suspenseful mystery will have kids reading under the covers with a flashlight well into the night. Fans of David Patneaude’s Someone Was Watching won’t want to miss his other books, The Last Man’s Reward and Dark Starry Morning. (Ages 9 and older).”

The book made a lot of lists, won some awards, and was eventually made into a movie by the same name. It’s still in print. The accompanying photo is of the hardcover and the German edition (Niemand hat etwas gesehan).

Long after the German edition arrived at my house and I’d spent many school visits showing it to kids and telling them that the title was German for Someone Was Watching, a kind teacher informed me that no, actually it means Nobody Saw Anything. Go figure!

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