Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe, by Jo Watson Hackl
Eleven days. Thirteen clues. And one kid who won't give up; 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 only 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.
“This piercing, often humorous adventure demonstrates how facing the truth can bring freedom and hope.” - Publishers Weekly
“The plot, full of adventure, treasure hunts, and mystery, will keep young readers hooked.” - School Library Journal