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Wake Up Missing

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,644 ratings  ·  295 reviews
Meet Quentin, a middle school football star from Chicago...
Sarah, an Upstate New York girls’ hockey team stand-out...
Ben, a horse lover from the Pacific Northwest...
And Cat, an artistic bird watcher from California.

The four have nothing in common except for the head injuries that land them in an elite brain-science center in the Florida Everglades. It’s known as the bes
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Walker Childrens
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Popular Answered Questions
Rachel Cat is a girl. Her real name is Catherine.
Tori I don't think that it will be scary I'm in 8th grade. I do though refuse to read the hunger games because it has way too much sexual stuff in future b…moreI don't think that it will be scary I'm in 8th grade. I do though refuse to read the hunger games because it has way too much sexual stuff in future books and because I do not like that much Violence.
Then again it can be scary to those who are sensitive to the hunger games.
For me, the suspense in The hunger games was a good 8 1/2 and Wake up Missing was about a good 2 through 3 1/2 for me.

I hope that this had been helpful!!! (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,644 ratings  ·  295 reviews

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Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
At this point I don't think Kate Messner could write something that I DIDN'T like! She has her writing "finger" on the pulse of what middle grade readers will read! This sci-fi,adventure,survival story has it all...and then some! I loved it from beginning to end, reading it in one sitting! I can.not.wait to book talk this one to readers in September! In my opinion you will need multiple copies of this's going to be in high demand! Extra special thanks to my friend, Cathy Potter, for sha ...more
Jan 27, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Yes...I read this one again...and again...and again! Excited for you to read it, too. WAKE UP MISSING comes out from Walker/Bloomsbury Kids in September '13, but for now, here's are a few blog posts about my process of researching & writing it.

Enjoy! And I hope you'll check out WAKE UP MISSING in the fall!
Colby Sharp
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
This book is SCARY!

I love everything Kate Messner writes. I love her versatility. Wake Up Missing is a winner.

Buy it.

Read it.

Share it.
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's like Lois Duncan's Down a Dark Hall, with a science fiction-y Margaret P Haddix twist, set in Carl Hiaasen country with some Gary Paulsen-esque adventure/survival suspense. And yet wholly original! So, pretty much a perfect middle-school read. I'll be recommending it to kids, parents, and teachers looking for a great classroom read-aloud. ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Four kids at a clinic to treat head injuries, when they begin to realize something isn’t right, will they be able to save themselves before it’s too late?

Opening Sentence: “If you hit your head hard enough, your brain gets shaken up inside your skull.”

The Review:

Cat is 12 and on her way to the I-CAN clinic in order to get her life back. She fell out of a tree and sustained a concussion. Since that injury she has lost friends, time at school and
My students and I love all of Kate Messner's books, but this may be our new favorite. Suspenseful and interesting with believable futuristic science elements. ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Imagine going through your days, having to deal with persistent headaches, not being able to remember tasks that used to be second nature to you, having to refrain from any physical exercise that would bring even more headaches. Welcome to the life that Catherine (Cat) has lived since falling from a tree while bird watching and suffering a concussion. Since that day it seems her life has fallen to pieces and parts of her life and memory have gone missing. So when an opportunity arises for Cat to ...more
Steph Su
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Oh man oh man! I'm afraid I haven't been able to get into Kate Messner's speculative fiction novels as much as I do with her realistic fiction ones. Maybe it's because I feel like the thing I like most about her MG novels--the adorable relatability of her MCs--doesn't translate as successfully into her speculative MG novels, due to the additional work of world-building, which I feel like doesn't always pass muster with the "ease of credibility" factor--that is, how effortlessly we readers can si ...more
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think I actually enjoyed this more the second time. My first read was two years ago, but this time I was reading it thinking about how the students in my district will respond to it. So, much fun imagining how the parts where the pacing gets faster, and the when events are foreshadowed. There is a lot to love about this book. I also enjoyed the Author's Note which shares some of the research links that provided inspiration for parts of the story. ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Pages read: 31

Though that doesn't seem like much, it's over ten percent of the book, and I'm just not feeling it. The dialog and narration feels a bit stilted, and it's not looking like the sort of middle grade I typically enjoy. I suspect it would be a meh read, and I don't feel like forcing myself through.
3.5 Stars | Started off extremely promising but fell a little short when the action unfolded. Plot is far-fetched and plot twist felt contrived. I liked the characters but the dialogues were thin. My empathy didn't soar for the four kids as I hoped it would. Still enjoyed it nonetheless. ...more
Nicole C
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a frightening book. I wanted to fly down to the Everglades and save Cat and her friends! A page turner until the very end.
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Solid 4.5! Thrilling story! Great read! Set in the Everglades. Loved the chase scenes!
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This one is a definite page turner. I read it all in one sitting and was hooked right from the beginning. Loved it!
Owen Herbst
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Wake Up Missing by Kate Messner is an excellent thriller. The story starts when Cat is seeking medical attention for a concussion whose effects have been haunting her life for months. She convinces her parents to send her a to a summer camp of sorts, where two Doctors, Dr. Ames and Gunther, have facilities specially designed to treat patients with brain injuries. In the novel, science, specifically genetic experiments, is discussed throughout the novel. It starts as a simple and healthy way to t ...more
Katie Sun
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was pretty good, it had a lot of adventure and I enjoyed it a lot. The only bad part was that you could kind of tell what was going to happen.
Marlena L.
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I really like all of the plot twists but killing one of the main characters was a bad idea. I also like the personality changes and the fact that some of them were forced.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I couldn't connect with the characters, so... ...more
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

Looking for an adrenaline pumping edge of your seat read? Wake Up Missing by Kate Messner is just the book.

Wake Up Missing is a mind bending twisty ride full of adventure and intrigue. Messner sets the tone perfectly from the beginning. There is a sense that nothing is quite right or as it seems. The reader is kept off balance from chapter one, which fits with Cat's difficulty in keeping hers. The clues are revealed slowly, and just when
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I started reading this I thought it was young adult and was a bit surprised when the kids all turned out to be 12. I checked here and found out it was MG, and that shifted my thoughts a little bit. I don't know why, but as soon as I found out that Cat was only 12 I just felt SO overprotective of her. Anytime something bad seemed as if it was going to happen I just wanted to hug her and protect her from whatever it was. So my heart was in my throat the ENTIRE BOOK.

I normally shy away from M
Lili Mccarthy
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book, Wake Up Missing was about these four kids who all got concussions from either doing sports or something they love to do. Quentin got his from playing football. Sarah, got hers from playing hockey. Ben got his while he was riding his horse and Cat got hers when she was sitting in a tree admiring birds. All of them met when they went to an elite brain center in the Florida Everglades. None of them had anything in common except for the brain injury. On there website it says they promise ...more
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great new thriller from Kate Messner! Cat suffered a concussion several months back, and hasn't felt the same since. The headaches, the dizziness, the forgetting -- all she wants is to be her old self again. When her mother finds information about the ICAN brain institute, it seems like maybe she has a chance. Quickly accepted into the program, Cat heads off to the Everglades to hopefully get better. When she arrives at the clinic, however, she is only one of 6 "patients." Comparing st ...more
Yet another fabulous book by Kate Messner. This one is very action/adventure. It is set in what feels like current time, even though it is science fiction. You could easily imagine this all taking place RIGHT NOW.

Genetics, brain science... this story will spark interest in lots of science topics.

And, as always, Kate does a great job of making girls and boys equals in intelligence, drive, and courage.

Full review
I give this three stars for my personal reading as an adult -- I liked it but saw a lot of plot contrivances that I found harder to believe than the science fiction DNA treatments -- but four stars for the middle-grade readers, including my nephew, that I will recommend it to. It's a suspenseful middle-grade science thriller that would be excellent as a book group book, since there are so many ways to talk about the real science behind the premise and what role DNA plays in determining identity, ...more
Jen (Feffer)
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wake Up Missing is a well-written, quick-paced little morsel of a sci-fi novel. Written for tweens (wait. I hate that word. Pre-teens? Let’s roll with that.) Ahem. Written for pre-teens, its characters are smart, active, and dynamic enough to hold a slightly younger audience’s interest.

I read this book with my ten-year-old boys in mind, but I have to say that I became absorbed in it almost immediately.

...Read more of this review at
Lauren J
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cat is sent to I-CAN hospital in Florida for a concussion, but something is terribly wrong with the institution. It is up to her and three of her fellow patients to uncover the secrets behind what is believed to be the best neurological hospital in the U.S.

I absolutely loved this book. It is unlike anything I've ever read, turning a science fiction novel into a thriller- all in a current setting. It's a great book, but it definitely didn't help me get over my fear of doctors. It's so realistic t
Sagar Castleman
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was exciting, made you feel for the characters, and had a lot is supense. But the best part was how in the character's point of view, it's actually written the way the character might write. For example, at the beginning, when she has a concussion, it's written in a depressing manner, and all the details are a bit fuzzy. I definitely recommend this book. ...more
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a one book which will find a wide audience. Within the first two chapters Kate Messner reaches out and pulls readers into a pulse quickening read; top-notch science fiction for middle grades.

My full review:
Lynette ~ Escaping Reality – One Book at a Time ~
OHMYGOSHOHMYGOSHOMYGOSH, This is one of the most AMAZINGEST books EVER! Standalone novels, FTW! Seriously, I love this book. If you haven't read it yet, read it. Full review to come.

I'm 16, and I LOVELOVELOVE this book!
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
When Kate Messner came to my school last year and told my students about this book, I knew it was going to be a hit. Her blend of science and adventure is just right, and the timing of a book about concussions couldn't be better. Another sure winner in my library. ...more
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Head trauma dystopian YA book main character is a girl. [s] 6 32 Aug 06, 2020 07:20AM  
Read aloud to 4th or 5th grade? 1 1 May 29, 2019 04:51AM  

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Kate Messner is an award-winning author, TED 2012 speaker, and former middle school English teacher. Her books for kids include THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z.,SUGAR AND ICE, and EYE OF THE STORM (Walker/Bloomsbury Dec. 2010) the MARTY MCGUIRE series (Scholastic), SEA MONSTER'S FIRST DAY, and OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW (Chronicle, Books). Kate also wrote SPITFIRE and CHAMPLAIN AND THE SILENT ONE, bot ...more

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