Saturday, September 11, 2010

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
published April 2008 by Simon & Schuster
320 pages (hardcover), Middle Grade

Glad the public library still had a copy of this book left on the shelf because mine was checked out Friday morning when the fifth graders assaulted our stack of Rebecca Caudill books. I was pleasantly surprised that they were so eager to get their hands on those nominees. Anyway...

Found is the first book in The Missing series. The book begins with a mystifying event - a plane carrying 36 babies appears from nowhere at an airport gate; once the babies have been unloaded, the airplane vanishes the same inexplicable way it came. Thirteen years later, these babies now teenagers in adoptive families begin receiving notes in the mail that they are the missing and someone is coming back for them. A bit ominous, no? So begins Jonah and Chip's journey to find out what these notes mean, who they really are, and where (and when) it is that they're missing from.

I really liked this book. Mostly. Tons of suspense and intrigue, not to mention the emotional turmoil of Chip finding out that he's adopted and Jonah, who has always known about his adoption, attempting to console his new friend while staying at arm's length. The plot moves this book more than the characters, which will always be a shortcoming for me, but it's fast-paced even though there's not a whole lot of action until the very end. Chip, Jonah, and Jonah's sister, Katherine, embark on adventures close to home in order to uncover clues about what the mysterious notes in the mail could mean, and it's all very realistic.

So, I was confused when I saw the Science Fiction sticker on my library book because up until the last few chapters of the book, I thought I was reading a mystery. If you read jacket flaps or back covers, I won't be revealing anything in saying that hey, there's time travel in this book. While Found is the introduction to a time travel series, I much more enjoyed the mystery in the beginning of the book to the science fiction place it led me to. I worry about how my students will feel about the ending too. Time travel is tricky and confusing. But there's bound to be more action as well, I suppose.

Personally, I don't think I'll be reading more of this series, but I did quite enjoy this book, even though the ending was a bit odd for me. All in all, a hearty three purple crayons.

What they said:
Sweet Reads; One Librarian's Books Reviews; The O.W.L.; Peaceful Reader; Becky's Book Reviews; etc.



Jan von Harz said...

Found has been nominated for the Twain award from the MASL and my book battle committee put it on our 2010/2011 book battle list. I have always loved Haddix's books and so do the middle school readers. Great review.

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I completely agree with you! I really enjoyed it until it turned into science fiction. I do know tho, that a ton of my students love the series, so I guess that's what matters :)

NatalieSap said...

Jan - I actually haven't read any of her others, even though I know they're pretty popular. I'll have to try some more when I'm looking for a fast-paced read.

Jill - The change in genre was so abrupt that it made me stop and wonder if I was still reading the same book! But I did enjoy it otherwise and know that the kiddos will too. :)

Peaceful Reader said...

I liked Found and Sent-the second one has more adventure, but I agree the characters are not as exciting as they could be.

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