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Who I'm Not
By author: Ted Staunton
Selling Points: "deception, abuse, grifters, family, loyalty, identity"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Oct/01/2013
Pages: 208
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $12.95
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Danny has survived everything life has thrown at him: being abandoned at birth, multiple abusive foster homes, life as a con man in training. But when his latest "protector" dies suddenly, Danny has to think fast or he'll be back in foster care again. He decides to assume the identity of a boy who disappeared three years before. If nothing else, he figures it will buy him a little time. Much to his astonishment, his new "family" accepts him as their own—despite the fact that he looks nothing like their missing relative. But one old cop has his suspicions about Danny—and he's not about to declare the case closed. Inspired by a true story, Who I'm Not is a powerful portrait of a boy whose identity is as fluid as a river and as changeable as a chameleon's skin.
Sense and Sensibility and Stories blog - January 23, 2015
"The concept was intriguing, the characterization was rich with detail, and the pacing was swift. I found myself pulled into Danny's story with little effort on my own part...Definitely a page turner, and the exploration of the foster care system is actually quite interesting."
Resource Links - December 1, 2014
"A fascinating tale told in first-person by a boy who assumes the identity of a ‘vanished teen.’ Students who enjoy mystery and espionage as well as cunning and daring adventures will enjoy this page-turning read." - February 28, 2014
"A fast-paced and highly entertaining story."
Back to Books blog - December 10, 2013
"I found the writing to be brilliant, it kept me glued to the pages, the story was impressive and there was no writing down to the audience...This is quite readable by teens and adults alike...Good realistic teen fiction suspense!"
Quill & Quire - December 1, 2013
[Starred review] "Takes off like a rocket and continue its upward trajectory right to the very last page...Danny himself is fantastically constructed, his typical teen bravado complicated by trauma and deep-seated fears...Given its cinematic quality, dead-on dialogue, and rollicking pace,Who I'm Not is a perfect choice for reluctant readers. This book is a knockout."
National Reading Campaign blog - November 29, 2013
"Staunton gives us a tightly woven, suspenseful story that will grip readers and keep them turning the pages. At the same time, the ineffable sadness of the narrator’s situation adds a poignant undertone and depth to the story. Readers may figure out the real Danny’s fate before the narrator does, but there are many more developments before the last page."
The Bulletin of The Center for Children’s Books - November 13, 2013
"[Staunton] brings an engaging solidity to the currently popular impostor plot, and fake Danny is an intriguing character—a genuinely talented, compulsive grifter who’s great at understanding everybody’s behavior but his own, and who’s more of a lost soul than he realizes. His relationship with Gillian is realistically low key even as it’s pivotal...[and] the underlying family drama is sadly plausible...A speedy, satisfying suspense tale."
Mabel's Fables blog - October 25, 2013
"A thoroughly compelling read...Knowing that it's based on real events, makes it all the more fascinating."
VOYA - October 13, 2013
"This quick read pulls the reader in almost immediately. The main character’s backstory is minimal, yet the reader cannot help but be intrigued by his attempt to be Danny...This should be an easy booktalk and will appeal to reluctant readers."
School Library Journal - October 1, 2013
"Reluctant readers will be receptive to this gripping tale about identity and resilience, written in clear language."
CM Magazine - September 27, 2013
"[Danny's] description of The Bad Time, or his time in a series of abusive foster homes, is heart-wrenching...Although the story is written with Danny’s voice, the other characters are well-drawn, and their motivations are obvious. This book makes the reader question everything...There are questions that are not answered in the text but are worth puzzling about afterwards...Recommended."
Kirkus Reviews - September 15, 2013
"Staunton’s latest page-turner moves fast. Readers aren’t sure whether or not they can trust the main character, and that makes the journey all the more exhilarating...The provocative, well-drawn characters run the gamut, from Danny’s kindly caregiver, Shan, to his violent, drug-addicted brother. Staunton stealthily inserts clues as to the whereabouts of the real Danny, but his keen plotting skills will keep readers guessing until the very end. Breathless, fast-paced fun."


Arthur Ellis Award nominee, short-listed  CA  2014
John Spray Mystery Award, winner  CA  2014
Stellar Award nominee, short-listed  CA  2014
CCBC Best Books, commended  CA  2014

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