Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Missing, Book One: Found

Title:  The Missing, Book One: Found
Author:  Margaret Peterson Haddix
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster
Year:  2008
Pages:  314
Genre:  Science Fiction
Age Level:  4th-7th Grade

Plot Summary:
One night a mystery plane suddenly appears at a gate at a small airport.  There is no pilot or crew on board, but there are 36 babies.  Fast forward 13 years, and young adoptee Jonah and his new friend Chip start getting letters telling them that they are part of the Missing, and that someone is coming back to get them.   This starts Jonah, his sister Dana, and Chip on an investigation that leads them to a terrifying truth-and to a place that none of them every imagined they'd be.

Haddix's books are always interesting, with twists that I as an adult reader don't always see coming.  Her Shadow Children series remains one of my favorite fantasy series, even compared with adult series.  She does not disappoint with Found.   I'm not giving too much away to say that from the second page, when the plane appears with the words Tachyon Airlines on the tail, I knew we were dealing with a time travel story.  Other than that, I had literally no idea where Jonah, Chip, and the others came from until they explained it at the end.  Do you know how rare that is-that as an adult reader I can't see the plot of a young adult book coming a mile away?  The action is well-paced, and the story is balanced nicely between what Jonah is feeling about events and the events themselves. I'm curious to see how the rest of the series plays out, since I'm not entirely sure where she's going with it at the moment-which is also a rare gift. 

Teacher Resources:
This book has great opportunities for discussion-about adoption, or time travel.  Students could research the historical figures mentioned in the book, as well.  Below are a few sites I found with activities for this book.

Wild Geese Guides: Found 

Elementary Library Ideas

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