Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Watson Hackl
11 days. 13 clues. And one kid who won't give up. Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe is "part treasure hunt, part wilderness adventure, and all heart" (Alan Gratz, New York Times bestselling author of Refugee).
How far would you go to find something that might not even exist?
All her life, Cricket's mama has told her stories about a secret room painted by a mysterious artist. Now Mama's run off, and Cricket thinks the room might be the answer to getting her to come back. If it exists. And if she can find it.
Cricket's first clue is a coin from a grown-over ghost town in the woods. So with her daddy's old guidebook and a coat full of snacks stolen from the Cash 'n' Carry, Cricket runs away to find the room. Surviving in the woods isn't easy. While Cricket camps out in an old tree house and looks for clues, she meets the last resident of the ghost town, encounters a poetry-loving dog (who just might hold a key to part of the puzzle), and discovers that sometimes you have to get a little lost . . . to really find your way.
2020 Mississippi Library Association Children's Author Award
2019 Southern Book Award Winner--Children's Category
"A tale of adventure, full of mystery." --Robert Beatty, New York Times bestselling author of Serafina and the Black Cloak
"An unforgettable story about a gutsy girl who will steal your heart." --Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
"Lyrical and endearing, this debut is a genuine adventure tale." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred