The Children’s Book Review | July 25, 2018
Get to know Patrick “Pack” Walsh from Michelle Falkoff’s Questions I Want to Ask You—an intriguing mystery about family, secrets, and how to move forward when the past keeps pulling you back.
The Children’s Book Review: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Patrick: My workout! And also the prospect of seeing my girlfriend, Maddie.
I see you have a bag with you. Will you tell us what you keep inside of it?
Extra set of clothes for the gym and for school, some bags of nuts in case I get hungry, and pictures of Maddie.
Are you hungry right now? Can we fix you anything to eat? Maybe we could make you your favorite dish?
My girlfriend made me this amazing salmon thing for my birthday. I don’t have her exact recipe, but it was something like a teaspoon or two each of salt, pepper, sugar, and garlic powder, all mixed together and rubbed on a piece of salmon so it made a kind of crust. It was crazy good.
Do you like to read?
Is it awful if I say not really? I’m more of a TV guy. Me and my dad watch true crime shows constantly, when he’s home. (He’s a cop and he works nights most of the time.)
Are you a rule follower or rule breaker?
Definitely a follower. Dad would kill me if I got in trouble because I broke rules.
When was the last time you felt embarrassed?
I got into a fight with Maddie at this graduation party because she’d been hanging out with this other guy I don’t like. Well, that wasn’t really it—it’s because she’s going to college in the fall and I’m not and I’m not handling it all that well. It’s not really the dumb guy’s fault. But it was kind of public and it seems like maybe we’re broken up? I hope I’m wrong about that.
If you weren’t answering the questions in this interview right now, what would you be doing?
Mostly trying to get Maddie to forgive me, I think. And working on my max clean-and-jerk. But there’s some other stuff going on that might take up some time. Family stuff, you know how it is.
Do you have any secrets you would like to share with us before you go?
I usually like to keep those to myself, but I’ll tell you this if you promise not to tell anyone: I’m not sure I actually want to find my mother. I know it’s a big deal that she’s alive and not dead like I thought she was, but I’ve been doing fine without her, and I’m not sure I want my life to change that much. It’s bad enough Maddie’s going to college and we’re fighting and all that; adding this whole other family situation might be too much. I guess I’m going to have to figure that out soon.
Questions I Want to Ask You
Written by Michelle Falkoff
Publisher’s Synopsis: A mystery about family, secrets, and how to move forward when the past keeps pulling you back, perfect for fans of David Arnold and Jeff Zentner.
Patrick “Pack” Walsh may not know exactly where he’s going in life, but he’s happy where he is. He’s got a girlfriend who gets him. His single dad is his best friend. After graduation, he has a desk job lined up at the local Crossfit gym, maybe he’ll even work his way up to trainer. He can’t see himself ever leaving the small town of Brooksby, MA. And he’s fine with that.
Then, on his eighteenth birthday, a letter from Pack’s mother changes everything.
Pack hits the road, searching for a mother he’s never known and a family he had no idea existed until now. His journey unearths questions about both of his parents that he never saw coming. And by the end of the summer, Pack has a whole different understanding of his past—and most importantly, where he wants his future to lead.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: HarperTeen | 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-0062680235
About the Author
Michelle Falkoff is the author of QUESTIONS I WANT TO ASK YOU (May 29, 2018; HarperTeen); PUSHING PERFECT (October, 2016; HarperTeen) and PLAYLIST FOR THE DEAD (January, 2015; HarperTeen). She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently serves as director of communication and legal reasoning at Northwestern University School of Law and a fellow with The Op-Ed Project. You can visit her online at www.michellefalkoff.com.
This interview with Patrick “Pack” Walsh, a character in Michelle Falkoff’s Questions I Want to Ask You, was conducted between Michelle Falkoff and Bianca Schulze. For similar books and articles, follow along with our content tagged with Books With Secrets, Family, and Mystery.