Friday, November 20, 2009

Middle-Grade Review: Sent

When Sent, Book 2 of Margaret Peterson Haddix’s series The Missing, arrived in the mail, my son and I both grabbed for it. We loved the first book in the time-traveling series, Found, and couldn’t wait to find out what happens next. If you haven’t read Book 1 yet, you may want to skip this review for now (it contains Book 1 spoilers) and check out my previous review of Found. Haddix has a talent for writing exciting and suspenseful series for middle-grade readers that also appeal to teens (and adults!).

Before Jonah and Chip have time to digest the news that they’re both children who were kidnapped from some period of history, they find themselves – along with Jonah’s sister, Katherine, and fellow missing child Alex – hurtling through time, thanks to a device called the Elucidator that they wrestled out of the hands of the bad guys, as JB tries to set history straight:

“Jonah,” JB protested. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. Certain things have been set in motion. Chip and Alex have to go to the fifteenth century.”

“Then, Katherine and I are going, too,” Jonah said. He didn’t know how it was possible, but he could feel time flowing past him, scrolling backward. He felt like he had only a few more seconds left to convince JB. “What if…what if we could fix the fifteenth century? Make everything right again? Then couldn’t Alex and Chip come back to the twenty-first century with us?”

When JB reluctantly agrees, the four kids find themselves in a castle in England in 1483, where they discover Chip’s true identity – Edward V, king of England. Alex is his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York. History says they were both murdered, and the four out-of-time kids have to find a way to “fix time,” so that they can return to the home they know.

Although some of the time travel details get a little confusing at times, the book is non-stop action and excitement. It’s also very interesting to learn about how people lived during that time in history and the – true – historical events surrounding them. Haddix did a tremendous amount of research for this book and strived to keep the known facts accurate, as she played with the real-life mystery of the young boys’ disappearance. The result is a fast-paced, suspenseful adventure. I can’t wait for Book 3!

308 pages, Simon & Schuster

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