Eleven-year-old Malcolm Orange has grown up in the back seat of an ancient Volvo station wagon, crisscrossing America with a diminishing collection of grandparents, one good-for-nothing father, an increasingly absent mother, and an unfortunately ordinary brother.
Their journey ends abruptly in a pay-by-the-week motel in Portland, Oregon when his father finally abandons the family. Impoverished and alone, the remaining Oranges find themselves living in Chalet 13 of the Baptist Retirement Village.
While his mother develops her own strange means of coping with the loss, Malcolm begins to disappear, becoming more perforated each morning – until there is little of the original Malcolm left. Desperate for a cure, he enlists the help of Soren James Blue, her talking cat Mr Fluff, and the very elderly members of the People’s Committee for Remembering Songs.
Malcolm and his friends set off on a hilarious and heartbreaking adventure to discover a cure for disappearing. On the way, they encounter the flying children of Oklahoma, the dastardly plans of Dr Blue and all the sinister secrets hiding behind the doors of his Treatment Room. As Malcolm wages a youthful war on his own small losses, each of his elderly friends must learn how to accept their own peculiar disappearing act. Malcolm Orange Disappears is an unforgettable story bursting with heart, imagination, tenderness and humour: a supremely confident debut.