Wake Up Missing by Kate Messner
Cat has sustained a serious concussion and has severe symptoms. Standard treatments have been ineffective, so Cat is sent to a head injury clinic located in the middle of a Florida swamp.
When she meets Dr. Ames he seems friendly and approachable. She dares to hope that she can be cured. A handful of other kids are at the clinic and their treatment seems to be working at first. But Trent, one of the other patients, hasn’t been seen for a while, and Kaylee never comes out of her room. What’s going on?
As the children begin to ask questions, they discover that they are the subjects of a secret science experiment. Dr. Ames can indeed cure concussion symptoms, but he is also interested in manipulating the kids’ DNA. His computer files show that he has access to the DNA codes of famous long dead scientists. What is he really up to?
Fear and suspicion grow amongst the patients as the doctors announce they will be moved to another location. Unable to contact their parents for help, they are relying on Sawgrass Molly, the airboat driver who brought them to the clinic. But can they really count on her? Or will they have to rely on themselves? As they embark on their adventure to be rescued they encounter drug runners, a possible connection to a U.S. senator and even a murder.
The author describes this book as a “science thriller”. Indeed, science, adventure and government conspiracy combine to make this novel a real page turner. There is some mature subject matter in the book. Recommended for ages 10 and up.