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Disappearing Act

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  80 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
An unseen man they call the Toad is stalking twelve-year-old Kevin and his older sister, Holly. They flee town in Holly's beat-up old car, driving west until they reach the Pacific Ocean. They change their names and attempt to hide in plain sight as street performers in Venice, California. But have they really eluded the Toad? Here is Newbery Medalist Sid Fleischman doing ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published July 27th 2004 by Greenwillow Books (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

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Dec 23, 2012 M. rated it liked it
Two kids on the run from an unknown, but dangerous, person they call The Toad. Mom was killed on an archeological dig and presumably the older sister has custody of her younger brother but someone is after them. They end up in Venice, CA, where they make a hardscrabble living as street performers--probably easier said than actually done but, hey, it's a story. The descriptions of Venice Beach and the eclectic group of people who live there are probably at least somewhat accurate, the dangers per ...more
Lisa the Librarian
Part mystery, part carnival, part beach party. This is a story that never really stands still.

Sid Fleischman is a talented writer that has the ability to keep a story interesting and witty while bringing it to life. I felt like I was on Venice Beach with all of the street performers, novelty acts, and crummy souveiner sellers. That is a talent.

I also enjoyed the movement of the story and the lives of the characters as they all wove together in a tapestry as varied, vibrant and interesting as the
Joanne Roberts
Though I prefer the printed copy, this audio is a short two hours and the veteran Full Cast Audio players do an exceptional job. I particularly love Daisy and Kevin. A classic Sid Fleischman comedy set in modern California.
Gatlin Owen
Oct 20, 2016 Gatlin Owen rated it it was amazing
I realy liked this book it was really good its about a magicain and he his trying to find a act to do at the carnavail.
Feb 10, 2016 Beth rated it liked it
Fast read. Engaging. Likeable characters.
I was confused about how much older the sister was than the brother. Once their mother was missing and presumed dead, did no one come to check up on the well being of these kids? It seems they were just forgotten until they were being stalked. The writing was a little hard to understand sometimes, vague or made references I did not understand. Did not take away from the overall story. I liked that both main characters were strong or mind and spirit and no
*SPOILER* After their archaeologist mother's death in a Mexico earthquake, Kevin and Holly hightail it for Venice, CA, while being stalked by "the Toad." They don't know what he wants. They settle in a rooming house in Venice, surrounded by street performers and Hollywood star wannabes. They dye their hair to disguise themselves and take on the names Pep and Chickadee Gomez. While Holly auditions successfully for a beach opera production, Kevin makes money on the side as a "hat man" for juggler ...more
Aug 31, 2014 PJ rated it liked it
Shelves: classroom-books
Kevin and his sister Holly escape to California after their mother dies as an archeologist. A man in a white suit has been chasing them so they rent a room on the boardwalk and take alias names. Kevin takes odd jobs on the boardwalk and Holly is a singer and lands a job at a play. Suddenly the man in the white suit turns up in California and is after them again. The idea of the book is interesting. I thought the beginning and the ending was good but the middle was a bit slow. A good read for fou ...more
Feb 22, 2013 Paris marked it as to-read
This was my first Fleischman book, And I have to say I was really satisfied. The story follows a parentless 12-year-old and his 21-year-old sister as they flee from their house in New Mexico to Venice, California after they are being chased by a stalker called the Toad, looking to find new jobs as street performers with new names. It was really entertaining, and is great if you like fast-paced stories. if it goes so fast at the begginning that you think you might just stop reading it, KEEP READI ...more
Feb 26, 2015 Miguel added it
The book Disappearing act by Sid Fleischman. I really liked the book because it shows a lot of emotions.The main setting is in the streets.The main characters are Daisy,Toad,Kevin,and Holly.The book is mostly about a man named Toad who is stalking 12 year old Kevin and his older sister.They flea west towards the Pacific Ocean and then they change their names.He starts learning about fortune-telling to keep his secret identity.I would recommend this book to people who like mystery because the boo ...more
Jul 14, 2013 Katie rated it liked it
Shelves: books-for-kids
Amusing and original. Holly and Kevin flee their hometown to escape "The Toad," a stalker with unknown purpose. In Venice, California they try their hand at various money-making schemes along the boardwalk with humorous results.

Not quite sure which ages to recommend this for. The writing is 4th-6th grade level but I'm not sure that this age group will get the humor or find the characters and plot overly gripping.
Disappearing Act is a lot of fun to read. It has a certain spontaneity and conversational tone that make it comfortable and easy to read. Fleischman’s depiction of the culture found among the street performers is brilliant and surprisingly detailed. The story is engaging and has enough unexpected twists to keep the suspense high to the end. Recommended for basically all demographics–an all-around good read.
Nov 07, 2007 Janet rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrensnovels
How can you not love Sid Fleischman? I would like to have lunch with him - his books are so fun, the guy has got to be entertaining in real life. Two kids escape a stalker by becoming street performers in Venice Beach; adventures ensue. Funny, interesting, but with a serious undertone, this is pitch perfect for kids.
Aug 08, 2010 mp rated it it was amazing
Realistic fiction. Kevin and Holly run away to Venice Beach, California to escape "The Toad" who is stalking them. They change their names and histories, but "The Toad" manages to find them. What is he looking for? Why is he chasing them? Fast paced, exciting, and funny. A thought-provoking ending.
Aug 12, 2012 Kristin rated it liked it
Shelves: tweens, middle-grade
When a mysterious man in white appears to be stalking them after the sudden death of their archaeologist mother, Kevin and his sister Holly run away to begin new lives in Venice Beach. The Toad, as they call him, catches up to them eventually, but what could they possibly have that is worth so much to him?
Quick, fun read about a 12-yr old boy who is "missing" with his 21-yr old sister. Their mom has died (or has she?) and they are being stalked by a strange man. The end up in Venice, CA, trying to find a way to make some money and start a new life, far, far away from their stalker (The Toad).
Jan 01, 2010 Relyn rated it it was ok
I'm not sorry I read this one, but I wouldn't read it again, either. Plus, I don't think it would appeal to many tweens. Bummer, because I love some of Fleischman's work.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Sid doesn't write like he used to. He seems to have lost the knack for humor. This book was ok, but he's written better.
Sherrill rated it liked it
Oct 30, 2009
Jenni rated it really liked it
Aug 02, 2008
Jul 22, 2009 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to, kid-lit
nice full cast audio, but not the most interesting book...
Juniper Ekman
Juniper Ekman rated it really liked it
Apr 03, 2012
Blobla Blablo
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Jul 28, 2013
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Jan 22, 2012
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Apr 15, 2009
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Apr 24, 2009
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Jul 27, 2012
Carol rated it it was amazing
Sep 07, 2011
Erin rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2009
Emma rated it liked it
Feb 13, 2010
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What's The Name o...: YA: Novel about teen siblings on their own in city [s] 4 91 Jan 22, 2012 06:25PM  
As a children's book author Sid Fleischman felt a special obligation to his readers. "The books we enjoy as children stay with us forever -- they have a special impact. Paragraph after paragraph and page after page, the author must deliver his or her best work." With almost 60 books to his credit, some of which have been made into motion pictures, Sid Fleischman can be assured that his work will m ...more
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