top of page
Disappearing Act


Disappearing Act

A memoir in verse for ages 14+ from FSG Books for Young Readers.

Moving and evocative, Disappearing Act follows
 author Jiordan Castle's coming of age as her family reckons with the aftershocks of her father's imprisonment.

disappearing act - cover art.png

Praise for Disappearing Act


★ A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
★ A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year
★ A Missouri Association of School Librarians Dogwood Reading List Selection


“Compelling and accessible verse . . . In an author’s note, Castle describes her motivation for writing the book being in part about offering representation and reflection for the many children of incarcerated parents. In this, she’s a success, offering enough detail to be true to her story while still presenting the view of a child who does not know or understand the specifics of her parent’s crimes . . . Fans of Jennette McCurdy’s I’m Glad My Mom Died (2022) will also appreciate this candid memoir of a parent-child relationship.” —Booklist, starred review

“[A] striking verse memoir . . .
Carefully worded poems depict Castle’s everyday insecurities—such as high school conflicts and difficulty navigating her first romantic relationship—alongside concerns about her father’s safety in prison (‘In movies they say don’t drop the soap./ They say sleep with one eye open’) . . . This moving account is an intense meditation on mental health and the prison system, as observed by Castle, who, according to an author’s note, crafted this story ‘for the other children of prisoners.’” —Publishers Weekly

“The occasional use of blank lines in place of words asks readers to guess what [Castle] is trying to say, bringing them into the narrative in an interesting way. All in all, verse is an unusual and rewarding format for telling this story. Thoughtfully recounts the challenges of growing up with an incarcerated parent.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Searingly honest and compulsively readable, Disappearing Act holds just the kind of poems—and story—I wish I'd had in hand when I was a young person.”—Sara Nović, New York Times bestselling author of True Biz

“This vivid memoir shines a light on the difficulty of navigating a complex family dynamic through a beautiful blend of prose and poetry.”
—Robin Ha, New York Times bestselling author of Almost American Girl

“Disappearing Act is a gut-punch of a beautiful, honest book. As someone who has experienced watching a loved one navigate incarceration, this story spoke to me on so many levels. From Castle’s thoughtfully rendered moments of negative space and loud silence on the page, to the lyrical letters to her future self and the tender care with which she portrays a family in crisis, I could not put this book down. A stunning, heart-opening work of art.”
—Mariama J. Lockington, Stonewall Honor Award-winning author of In the Key of Us and For Black Girls Like Me

“A gorgeous memoir-in-verse, Jiordan Castle’s Disappearing Act is a heart-wrenching look at the cognitive dissonance that occurs when trying to reconcile who someone is with who you want them to be. Coming of age amidst her father’s incarceration, Castle’s story is a testament to the strength it takes to navigate high school when everything is going wrong. A story of family, love, friendship, loss, and grief, this sharp and evocative memoir offers a personal look at mental illness and the power of friendship and family. Disappearing Act is a must-read.”
—Ariel Henley, Schneider Family Honor-winning author of A Face for Picasso

“Disappearing Act is gorgeously written with heartbreaking honesty. Castle dispatches scenes from her teen self in a powerful exploration of trauma and hope. Castle’s debut memoir-in-verse picks up the pieces from her shattered world and illuminates each fragmented memory with razor-sharp precision. The result is a stunning mosaic of a teen girl who discovers clarity and strength on the other side of a familial catastrophe.”
—Jennifer Moffett, author of Those Who Prey

All His Breakable Things

A poetry chapbook published in 2020.

"There's another version of this story where I drain the past, rouge my cheeks with its blood, make a dead thing live."

bottom of page