Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Stolen Children

Kehret, Peg. 2008. STOLEN CHILDREN. New York: Dutton. ISBN 9780525478355 [Suggested Grade Levels 5-8]

A child being kidnapped is every parent’s nightmare. Peg Kehret writes an exciting page-turner about fourteen year old Amy Nordlund who is hired to babysit wealthy three year old Kendra Edgerton. Bumbling, inexperienced criminals kidnap the children and hold them for ransom. Amy proves to be wise beyond her years and makes choices that keep them safe while being held captive. She has several opportunities to escape, but doesn’t want to leave Kendra alone with the kidnappers. Instead of ransom notes, the kidnappers decide to video tape the girls. Amy finds ways to include clues in these tapes which help the police find where the kidnappers are keeping the girls. This realistic thriller will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Kehret includes ethical lessons without being preachy. Amy learns the hard way to always be responsible and fulfill your commitments. Readers learn from the mistakes of characters that you should get involved if something doesn’t seem right.

Invite a local YMCA or Red Cross member to lead a discussion on babysitting safety.

Invite local police to lead a discussion on stranger danger.

Other juvenile literature about children being kidnapped:
Cooney, Caroline. THE FACE ON THE MILK CARTON. ISBN 038532328X
Korman, Gordon. KIDNAPPED. ISBN 043984777X

By Jane Jergensen

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