Thank you for your interest in When We Vanished! This award-winning young adult eco-thriller is told from the perspectives of four unique characters as they attempt to expose wrongdoings at a food corporation—with disastrous results. 

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For more information about the book, read on!

When We Vanished

Call of the Crow Quartet, Book One

3D version of When We Vanished. Silhouette of a crow against green foliage, with a red-orange background behind the title

When Andi Lin overhears details about a harmful research study at the food corporation Nutrexo, she’s instantly worried that her dad is involved. He left home to participate in one of the company’s clinical trials, and was in frequent contact at first—but her recent attempts to reach him have been met with silence.

Fearing he may be in danger, Andi sets out to investigate. She finds an unlikely ally in her neighbor Cyrus, whose mother once worked for Nutrexo and is hiding secrets of her own. Their search for answers leads them to the head scientist at Nutrexo’s confidential research facility, where they learn that the truth is more complicated—and more devastating—than they ever could have imagined.

This captivating debut is at once a page-turning thriller, a contemporary coming-of-age story, and a thought-provoking look at the consequences of our desires for power, success, and control.

When We Vanished is recommended for readers ages 14 and up.

Violence, torture, blood, needles, abduction, forced captivity, disease outbreaks, severe respiratory illness, hospitalization, dying/death, racism, animal cruelty, implied sexual assault, profanity.

About the Author

Alanna Peterson graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with degrees in molecular biology and nutritional science. She has worked in a variety of settings throughout her career, including a microbiology lab, a research kitchen, an intensive care unit, a food justice nonprofit, and a shaved ice booth. She is the award-winning author of the Call of the Crow Quartet, a series of young adult thrillers. More information about her books (including resources and recipes) can be found at alannapeterson.com.


Moonbeam Children's Book Award seal. Silhouette of a mother and child reading a book against the backdrop of the moon. Text around the rim reads, "celebrating youthful curiosity, discovery and learning through books and reading."

Moonbeam Children’s Book Award: Young Adult Fiction Silver Medalist

Advance Praise

“An unflinching and absorbing thriller.” School Library Journal 

“Nothing is what it seems in this exciting young adult thriller by Alanna Peterson, who knows how to mix up a test tube full of mystery, adventure, and hard choices, set against the glorious mountains and forests of the Northwest. When We Vanished is the first in a quartet of books. Don’t miss Number One!” -Perri O’Shaughnessy, Author of the NYT Bestselling Nina Reilly Series

“I was completely engrossed as I gobbled down each chapter. When We Vanished is an entertaining, solid, and hopeful book.” -Gina Siciliano, Award-Wining Author of I Know What I Am: The Life and Times of Artemisia Gentileschi

When We Vanished is a big adventure about big food with big ideas, and enough twists to keep you turning pages until the very end. The first installment in the Call of the Crow Quartet bodes very well.”  -Raj Patel, Author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System

“The relationships and personalities that make up the characters’ world drive this thriller into unexpected places.” -Butler Children’s Literature Center

“I was so invested in these characters and the struggles they faced that I couldn’t put the book down.” -Lovely Reads Publishing