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In Meg Rosoff's latest book for young readers,
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In Meg Rosoff's latest book for young readers, "Picture Me Gone" (Putnam, $17.99, ages 12 and up), 12-year-old Mila observes of her father's friend: "She's one of those [adults] who thinks that because I'm young I'm blind to what's true and what's not. I see her far more clearly than she sees me, perhaps more clearly than she sees herself." Mila's exceptional powers of observation, coupled with a sensitivity to language -- her household is multilingual, her father a translator -- make her an excellent companion when her father sets out to track down an old friend who has gone missing. Has something disastrous happened to Matthew, or has he chosen to walk out on his life? Although the elusive friend was a larger-than-life figure of her father's childhood, Mila wonders whether his life has turned out to be just like any other grown-up's: "There are so many unexploded bombs in Matthew's life."(Credit: Handout)

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New books for young readers

Children see the world differently. Although they may lack the experience to evaluate what they see, they also lack the baggage that often leads grown-ups to make erroneous assumptions. Reviewer Sonja Bolle picks seven new books featuring observant kids.