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June Issue of The Edge of the Forest

Found (The Missing, Book 1): Margaret Peterson Haddix

Book: Found (The Missing, Book 1)
Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Pages: 320
Age Range: 9-12

FoundBackground: I first heard from The Reading Zone that Margaret Peterson Haddix had started a new series. As I'm a fan of Haddix's Shadow Children series, and have enjoyed those of her standalone titles that I've read, that might have been enough for me to give it a look. But the premise of this series, which involves babies that appear out of nowhere on an airplane, caught my attention, too. So I added it to my wish list, and procured it shortly thereafter.

Review: Found (The Missing, Book 1) begins with a mysterious event. An airplane arrives at a terminal out of nowhere. When the gate agent peeks in from the jetbridge, she finds no adults - just 36 babies, traveling alone. The action then fast-forwards 13 years, to a boy named Jonah, who knows that he's adopted, but doesn't know any details about his birth parents.

One day, Jonah receives a mysterious letter that just says "YOU ARE ONE OF THE MISSING." Even more mysterious is the fact that Jonah's new friend Chip receives the same letter, and learns that he was adopted, too. Jonah and Chip, along with Jonah's sister Katherine, do a bit of investigating, and find themselves plunged into a series of mysterious events.

In truth, I found this book a bit slow. There's a lot of sitting around looking things up on the computer, and sitting around receiving mysterious letters. Most of the action happens in the last third of book. And even then, what happens is really the setting up of the future books in the series. Which I can't tell you about without spoiling the suspense of this book.

Found is suspenseful, even if not action-packed. You wonder what happened with those 36 babies, what makes them special, and why someone would be looking for them now. The truth is layered on gradually, as Jonah and Chip begin to understand who they really are. And by the end of the book, you're ready for the exciting adventures that are sure to follow in the future books of the series (seems like there could be dozens). The truth about who they are is clever and surprising, and I'm looking forward to the other books.

I do recommend Found, because it's the gateway into what promises to be an intriguing and compelling series. But if I were you, I might wait until Book 2 comes out, and then read the books together. This first book is necessary to set up the premise, but it doesn't really stand alone. I can't say more, or quote from the interesting parts of the book, without spoiling the suspense, so I'll stop here.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: April 2008
Source of Book: Bought it
Other Blog Reviews: Mrs. Hill's Book Blog, BooksForKidsBlog, Semicolon, The Reading Zone, Children's Literature Book Club, Book Obsession, Provo City Library Children's Book Blog, Brighton Book Bloggers, Middle and Intermediate Book Talks (Note: some of these reviews contain spoilers. Tread carefully.)
Author Interviews: Cynsations

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.