This was a book that I read in 1985-1986. I vaguely recall that there was a hand wearing a ring on the cover and that it seemed to be a newer book from the library.

The story took place in the future and the Earth was dying. People weren't allowed to cut any grass or destroy any type of plants. The main character was a boy who lived with his father. They grew food and vegetables secretly and had a hidden room behind their refrigerator I believe. People were disappearing and I think the boy's mother had disappeared. The government spied on people and searched homes randomly. The boy's father eventually disappeared also and he became friends with a teenage girl whose parents had also disappeared. I remember that she had a gas powered car and that she and the boy somehow discovered clues relating to the disappearances. The boy and girl eventually solved the clues leading them to find their families. I think the missing people were put to sleep till the planet healed. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I would love to re read a piece of my childhood.

  • Great question, and welcome to the site! I hope someone can help you find the book you're looking for.
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Jun 28, 2015 at 7:05
  • probable duplicate of scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/4751/… (earlier question than that cited below)
    – Otis
    Commented Oct 18, 2015 at 22:46

1 Answer 1


This is Frank Bonham's The Missing Person's League, first published in 1976:

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It hits all of your major points: dying earth; secret garden in house; invasive home searches; disappearing people; and

it turns out the missing people have been recruited to go into suspended animation to rebuild civilization after Earth heals

FYI, this is also a repeat of this answered question, though yours better describes the salient points.

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