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All That's Missing

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  46 reviews
When his grandfather’s dementia raises the specter of foster care, Arlo flees to find his only other family member in this genuine, heartening novel.

Arlo’s grandfather travels in time. Not literally — he just mixes up the past with the present. Arlo holds on as best he can, fixing himself cornflakes for dinner and paying back the owner of the corner store for the sausages
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Candlewick Press
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  193 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Arlo is an orphan who lives with his grandpa, Poppo. Poppo's memory is not so good anymore. He wonders about and forgets things a lot. Poppo has a stroke and ends up in the hospital; Arlo ends up in a group home. He decides to run away and find his grandma, Ida Jones. Ida lives in Edgewater, Virginia, so Arlo hops a bus for the 350 mile trip. He hasn't seen Ida since he was 2 years old when his parents died. There were hard feelings between Ida and her husband and Poppo. But Ida is happy to see ...more
Jacob Cannegieter
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. The characters were all great, and I loved hearing each one. The characters all had a hard time, but they all had their own ways to solve it. Poppo, the grandfather of 11 year old son (almost 12) is very old, and doesn't have the best health conditions. Arlo finds it hard to keep track of his grandfather. When his grandfather isn't able to help him, Arlo finds more troubles ahead of him, and this time he is on his own.
I loved the relationships in this book. I liked how
Laura Phelps
May 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Arlo lives with his grandfather, who is slowly descending into Alzheimer’s and winds up in the hospital. Rather than getting stuck in foster care, Arlo runs away on his own to find his mysterious grandmother who he has no memory of. Arlo’s fear and sense of aloneness is palpable and his willingness to do almost anything to protect his grandfather and escape foster care is entirely believable. What gets a little weird, though, is that the introduction of magical realism/ghosts towards the end. It ...more
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Touching story about Arlo, a young boy who is trying to take care of his grandfather, while trying to hide the fact that his grandfather's mental capabilities are declining. When the police find the grandfather in a dumpster, he is quickly admitted to the hospital and the truth comes out. Arlo then runs away to find his grandmother who he hasn't had any contact with in 9 years. Arlo is a strong, resilient, yet fragile character and I grew to care about him quite a bit.
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Arlo, an 11-year old boy, cares for his grandfather who has Ahlzheimer's. DCFS gets involved, he runs away and finds his grandmother, his only other living family. Loved his tender feelings portrayed, love and family explored, and friendship. The story also included a mystery, racial issues, and humor. A great read!
Liz Fichera
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What I loved best about this story was how Alzheimer's was portrayed in the eyes of middle-schooler, Arlo. Very authentic and genuine.
Heidi Betts
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amanda Green
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Slow doesn’t begin to describe how hard it was to get into this book
I wanted to like it but...just couldn’t get past 200 pgs
Cathy Ryan
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Arlo Sabatini's parents died when he was two years old so there's just been himself and his grandfather, Poppo, for as long as Arlo can remember.

Lately though, Poppo has been getting the past mixed up with the present and Arlo has been doing his best to look after him but how long can he carry on without someone finding out. Then Poppo has a stroke and is taken to hospital.

Arlo is sent to a children's home when it becomes apparent there's no-one to look after him. And so Arlo takes matters in
For eleven-year-old Arlo Jones, all that's missing is a home. Until fairly recently, he's lived with his maternal grandfather, Poppo. But lately, his grandfather seems forgetful and given to wandering around by himself. When the elderly man has a stroke and is hospitalized, Arlo heads off on a 300 mile bus trip to Edgewater, Virginia, in search of Ida, his paternal grandmother, the only other relative whose name he knows. After all, even a family member that he doesn't know has to be better than ...more
Leslie Zampetti
Dec 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Arlo knows something's not right with his grandfather. But as long as he can keep Poppo from burning the house down accidentally, Arlo can avoid the dire fate of foster homes or an orphanage, both of which his best friend Sammy knows from experience it's best to avoid. But when Poppo ends up in the hospital, a social worker tries to help Arlo by placing him in a shelter. Less than a night, and Arlo knows this is no place for him. He cleverly escapes the shelter and sets out to find his grandmoth ...more
Ms. Yingling
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Arlo's parents were killed in a car accident when he was very young, so he has always lived with his grandfather, Poppo. Lately, though Poppo has been very forgetful, wandering around town and not quite knowing who Arlo is. When Poppo has a stroke while foraging in the dumpster of a local store, he ends up in the hospital, and Arlo ends up in foster care. Arlo runs away from the shelter and decides to take a bus trip to Edgewater to find his grandmother, even though she and Poppo did not get alo ...more
Anna-Maria Crum
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I felt for Arlo and the difficulties he was facing. His grandfather is showing signs of dementia and the only other relative he has is a grandmother he hasn't seen since he was two. Arlo doesn't want to end up in foster care so he makes a plan to find his grandmother. He finds a carving his deceased father made and uses it as a talisman on his quest to find a new home.

Arlo is a resourceful and brave character, but the touches of magic realism supplied by the carving didn't work for me. It felt l
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Received a free copy from NetGalley.

Arlo has lived with his grandfather, Poppo, since his parents were killed in a car accident when he is very young. Lately, Poppo's memory isn't what it once was. Poppo wanders around town and doesn't always recognize Arlo. Arlo spends his time worrying about his grandfather, caring for his grandfather, and trying to avoid being sent to a foster home. A stroke lands Poppo in the hospital and sends Arlo on an adventure to escape foster care, find his paternal gr
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Finally got my copy as I've missed all Sarah's signing events around town. =(

Congratulations to Sarah Sullivan on her great first novel! All That's Missing is the story of Arlo, living in a West Virginia city with his maternal grandfather Poppo (readers will adore Poppo) until Poppo starts exhibiting signs of memory loss. Arlo then runs away to find his paternal grandmother, Ida Jones in the Tidewater area of Virginia and learns to live and thrive in his new environment.

When I first read about
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Arlo is an eleven-year-old boy who, as long as he can remember, has lived with his grandfather. But Poppa's starting to "time-travel," as Arlo calls it - he's having memory problems that adult readers will recognize as the onset signs of Alzheimer's disease. When Poppa ends up in the hospital, Arlo is faced with the possibility of going into foster care. It's either that... or find his grandmother on the other side, with whom Poppa has always had a strained relationship.

If this book had stuck to
Medeia Sharif
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Arlo’s parents are deceased and he lives with his maternal grandfather, aka Poppo. Many times he’s on his own since Poppo is forgetful, drifts into the past, and eventually ends up in a hospital. Arlo doesn’t care to be in an orphanage because of horror stories he’s heard, so he runs away to find his long-lost paternal grandmother.

Relying on the kindness of strangers, Arlo finds who he’s looking for. Staying with his grandmother, he learns what kept his mother and father’s families apart. Also,
Teen: All That's Missing engages the reader. It is slightly sad but not so sad that you leave the book feeling melancholy. Arlo is a smart and relatable kid who makes good decisions. His bravery is something younger kids can relate to and look up to. Although I'm on the upper edge of the target audience, I liked the book and would read it again. The book very successfully blends elements of sadness with elements of adventure. Without spoiling the end, there is happiness and loose ends are tied u ...more
Karen Arendt
I enjoyed this story very much. Arlo, whose parents died when he was young, lives with his grandfather; he works so hard to keep things going for himself and his grandfather, who is showing signs of Alzheimer's. Because relationships were strained between his father's parents and his mother's parents, Arlo hadn't gotten to know his maternal grandparents very well. When Arlo's grandfather ends up in the hospital, though, Arlo, not wanting to to to foster care, runs off to see his grandmother, who ...more
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: boys-favorite
Arlo lives with his grandfather, Poppo, who hasmemory lose and then has a stroke. Since Arlo doesn't know exactly where is paternal grandmother lives he is put in a home. Arlo is an ingenious 11 year old and escapes after one night. Works his way to Edgewater and his grandmother. Hoping for help.
Arlo s a determined young man, who has tho grow up fast, but still is able to be a child at the same time, thanks to Maywood, a friend he makes in Edgewater.
Families come in different shapes and sizes
Krista Stevens
First YA book I have read that featured how damaging Alzheimer's is to families. Arlo lives with his grandfather since his parents died when he was two. As Poppo increasingly "travels in time" as Arlo names it, Arlo's life becomes more difficult. At 11-years-of age, being a care-taker for someone who wanders out at the middle of the night is rather overwhelming.

This plot line becomes secondary at the story moves to Arlo living with his paternal grandmother. Probably more of a 3.5.

Characters with
Crete Public Library District
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Review by Gail (youth services) This is a good story of an eleven-year-old boy, Arlo, who lives with his grandfather who time travels. Not literally - he just confuses the past with the present.

This is the only family Arlo knows and when his grandfather lands up in the hospital, foster care becomes a possibility that he does not want to happen. He has a name and a town of his maternal grandmother and he sets off to find her. Will finding her find him the family he wants? Read and see.
I kind of liked this book. I wasn't really into it but I read it anyway. I read two books before finishing it . That's why it seems I took too long to finish. I wouldn't recommend it. The characters need more personality and happiness. I'm not and adult so I may have a different opinion than an adult.
Arlo's grandfather wanders in his memory. He can't tell past from present sometimes and ends up in the hospital. Arlo has to go to a shelter for orphans but he runs away to another state to live wit
Great Books
Oct 26, 2013 added it
Shelves: ages-9-11
Eleven-year-old orphan, Arlo, has spent the last nine years living with his grandfather, Poppo, who has slowly developed demensia. When Poppo suffers a stroke and winds up in the hospital, Arlo decides to escape foster care by traveling 300 miles alone to find his paternal grandmother whom he has never met. Once there, he learns the true meaning of family and, with a new friend, helps uncover a mystery that has been hidden within the walls of his grandmother's house for decades. Reviewer #8
Gail Scott
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a good story of an eleven-year-old boy, Arlo, who lives with his grandfather who time travels.
Not literally- he just confuses the past with the present. This is the only family Arlo knows and when his grandfather lands up in the hospital, foster care becomes a possibility that he does not want to happen. He has a name and a town of his maternal grandmother and he sets off to find her. Will finding her find him the family he wants? Read and see.
Sarah Fox
I related to the themes of foster care; guardianship; sense of belonging; and dementia. I enjoyed the metaphor and motif of Arlo's dam. Arlo is trying to take care of things hoping on one will find out and somehow things will improve. When Poppa has a stroke, Arlo is sent to a shelter and embarks on a quest to find his grandmother, Ida Jones in Edgewater, VA. People help him along the way and Arlo finds the answers, love, and the home he was seeking.
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Arlo has been hiding his grandfather's increasing dementia until the day his grandfather has a stroke and social services moves in to provide Arlo temporary shelter. Fearful in this situation Arlo sets out to find his other grandmother and discover the untold story of the animosity between the two sides of the family. Filled with big issues and small and a great cast of characters, the reader is cheering on a whole cast of likeable characters.
Sheri S.
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sarah is a genuine story teller. The reader is pulled immediately into Arlo's difficulties, which he handles like a champ! I enjoyed the dementia issues and social workers and foster home care, and of course the wonderful ploy of finding his only relative he's never met. I couldn't stop reading and cheered for Arlo all the way. I believe there are many children who will be able to identify with his hardships and learn from his courage.
Thanks Sarah for this story!!
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this story, but felt that it could have used some tighter editing. The writing was good and the characters well-developed, but the plot rambled. Arlo seems a bit too passive to take some of the actions he takes. The introduction of a new setting and whole set of characters well into the story slowed me down a bit. Happily, it all comes together in the end.
Mar 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
I would recommend this book to students in 5-7 grade. I could see the characters resonating with a few students..At times, some of the plot points are unelaborated and glossed over but I was able to suspend my disbelief and carry on. It deals with the scary aspects of dementia and family drama. I think overall it is well written and would be very enjoyable for some students.
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Author of ALL THAT'S MISSING, which received a starred review from the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and 4 picture books, including most recently PASSING THE MUSIC DOWN which was an NCTE Notable Book in the Language Arts. Her second book, DEAR BABY: LETTERS FROM YOUR BIG BROTHER was an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold award winner. Her fifth picture book, A DAY FOR SKATING, illustrated b ...more
“The thing about families, Arlo thought, was that there was always some question nobody wanted to answer for you, and it was like a stray thread pulling loose in a sweater. You could tug at it all you wanted, but in the end, all you'd have was a pile of twisted yarn.” 2 likes
“ was hard sharing the person you loved with a stranger.” 0 likes
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