Good read missing? Found!

March 26, 2010 at 10:22 am

Found (The Missing: Book 1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix; published by Aladdin Paperbacks, New York, 2008.

Fitting in is hard, especially in adolescence.  The last thing any thirteen year old wants is to be different than his or her peers in any way.  Sometimes being adopted can be a stigma, just ask Chip; his parents kept his adoption a secret from him and he has a million questions when he finds out.  But Jonah has always known he was adopted and it’s never really bothered him.  In fact, his sister, Katherine, who is just a year younger and a “birth child,” is jealous of his adoption.  When strange letters start arriving for Chip and Jonah (“Beware! They’re coming back to get you.”), and when the neighborhood’s population starts growing with adopted thirteen year old children, a mystery begins to unravel.  A thirteen year old mystery.  Chip, Jonah and Katherine work on unraveling the mystery.  When people begin appearing and disappearing before their eyes, the riddle takes on a new dimension.  The trio is unable to unlock the secret before they are locked in a time hollow.  Will these missing children of history make it back to their own time, leap ahead to an unknown future, or work their way back to the time in which they grew up?

Haddix has done it again.  She has created likable characters in beguiling situations.  I think the premise of The Missing is outrageously delicious as Haddix has set up the scenario for Chip, Jonah and Katherine to travel through time to save the missing children of history; readers will learn a bit about different eras.  Hooray, this may be theMagic Tree House series for middle schoolers, but with much more meat on the bones to chew on.

It is already a popular selection among upper elementary students: It won the Buckeye Children’s Book Award for 2009 in the Grades 3-5 category!

I would add this to pathfinders about adoption.  Of course, I’d also add it to readers’ advisory lists; “if you outgrew Magic Tree House”…or…”if you liked The Shadow Children.” It would be a great book club title too.  I think that teachers need to be aware of the historic setting of subsequent titles in this series as they may want to use them in cross-curricular planning.  Also, the book won the Buckeye Children’s Book Award for Grades 3-5 in 2009.

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Entry filed under: Ohio Buckeye Book Award Winner or Nominee.

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