Found (The Missing: Book One), by Margaret Peterson Haddix, 2008, Book Review

found-picThis book was recommended to me with little explanation, and I expected it to be just another run-of-the-mill, edgy adventure story, with a little too much language and content a little too old to comfortably call it a tween book. Wrong! Found is much more than I bargained for. It’s a fantastic, clean page-turner entirely suitable for young readers (8-13) with some mind-bending twists along the way. I had to tear myself away when the clock tipped into the wee hours this morning and finish it up at first light.

Within, Jonah Skidmore knows he’s adopted, and it’s never been a big deal. Until he receives some mysterious letters in the mail. Then his new friend, Chip, finds out unexpectedly that he’s also adopted, and receives the same disturbing letters. Coincidence? Prank? They think so. Until people begin vanishing right in front of them. Until they, along with Jonah’s sister, Katherine, stumble onto classified information listing Jonah, Chip, and many other thirteen-year-old adoptees as “survivors.” Until they look up a “witness” on the same list and hear about a disappearing plane filled with babies. Until events happen that are chronologically impossible. Then the kids take the letters seriously. Letters that read, “You are one of the missing.” And, “Beware!  They are coming back to get you.”

Sounds good? Yeah, it is. Ms. Haddix took me by complete surprise. I had no idea where this was going, and I’m not going to give anything away. You’ll just have to read it for yourself. But make sure you have plenty of time; you won’t want to put it down either.

My only complaint is one I often make about high-action stories. The writing is streamlined and unadorned. Oh, it reads smoothly and delivers a full plot, but I miss the beautifully-written prose, depth and imagery found in slower-paced books. As is too often the case, it’s a trade-off, action for quality. But I got over it pretty quickly and enjoyed the ride. I highly recommend you grab a copy. Ages 10+

I also recommend that you have the next book of the series handy. Found leaves you hanging, big time. Book two, Sent, was released in 2009. Book three, Sabotaged, was released in 2010. Book four, Torn, has just been released this week. (I must get caught up!) Ms. Haddix has said on her website that three more books will be forthcoming in the series. They will be Caught, Kept, and Revealed. Watch for them!

 

2 thoughts on “Found (The Missing: Book One), by Margaret Peterson Haddix, 2008, Book Review

  1. I’m glad you said this is a good book for younger kids. I saw this book in my local bookstore and wanted to get it but my Mom wasn’t sure about it (I’m going to show her your review). Ms. Haddix wrote my favorite book in the 39 Clues series (Into the Gauntlet) and when I saw this series by her I thought I would like it. 🙂

  2. It’s squeaky. I didn’t have a single thing written in my “content” column as I jotted notes for my review. Oh, and it’s cheaper on Kindle. I checked. 🙂

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