Thursday, March 17, 2011

REVIEW - The Missing Series by Margaret Peterson Haddix

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

An irresistible set-up for a new series: An unidentified airplane appears out of nowhere. When the aircraft is boarded, its only occupants are babies; once they are removed, the pilotless plane vanishes. Jonah and Chip, now teenagers, discover that they were among the "airborne orphans," who seem to be somehow linked with missing children from history. Rather than forgetting the past, the two boys decide to venture into it, risking their survival to right the wrongs of time. Crisp time-travel adventure. Description from GoodReads

I am a fan of Margaret Peterson Haddix's books.  She tells a wonderful story and writes well.  This is the first book that I have read of hers that I did not connect well with.  I don't know if I can pin point the reason. Maybe it's that I did not relate well to the characters.  Don't get me wrong, they are great characters.  They fell a little flat for me.

This book is set in the present day United States.  Ohio to be exact.  The story revolves around three characters.  Jonah and Chip are thirteen, and Jonah's twelve year old sister, Katherine.  There is a mystery of sorts to solve.  Jonah and Chip are both adopted and start receiving letters in the mail.  The first says "You are one of the missing". The second says "Beware! They're coming back to get you."

I don't want to get into many details.  I will say that there is a sci-fi element to the book with time travel involved.  As usual Haddix is a great middle grade author. 

This completes one of the books in my Book Bucket List.  I became interested in this book in 2008 when it was published.  At the time I was running a PTA sponsored book fair at my local elementary school.  This was the book that the teacher's wanted for their classrooms.

Now on to the Second book of the series.

Sent (The Missing, #2)Sent by Margaret Peterson Haddix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"I think it's probably safe to say, given when you should have landed, that you'"
"Tell me!"
"I think, right now, you're the king of England."
Thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip are reeling from the news that they're both missing children from history, kidnapped from their proper time period. Before they can fully absorb this revelation, a time purist named JB zaps Chip and another boy, Alex, back to the fifteenth century, where they supposedly belong. Determined not to lose their friends, Jonah and his sister, Katherine, grab Chip's arms just as he's being sent away. The result? Jonah and Katherine also end up in the fifteenth century, where they decidedly do not belong.
Chip's true identity is Edward V, king of England, and Alex is his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York. But Chip is convinced that his uncle, Richard of Gloucester, plans to kill them and seize the throne for himself.
JB promises that if the kids can "fix time," he will allow them to return to the present day. But how can they possibly return home safely when history claims that Chip and Alex were murdered?
In a riveting tale that climaxes on the battlefield at Bosworth, master storyteller Margaret Peterson Haddix brings readers back in time to an unforgettable moment in history and plunges them into the adventure of a lifetime. Description from GoodReads.

I liked this story better than the first in the series.

In the first book a bunch of adopted children are brought together and find out that they were stolen from their time periods. They were children who died or disappeared in time. The future society took them from the past to be adopted in the future.  It was the new "in" thing to do.  Adopting a child who was born to be the King of England deserved bragging rights for adoptive parents.

In this story two of the children, Chip and Alex, (who are now 13 years old) are sent back to the 15th century to correct the things that were changed when they were taken. Jonah and his sister Katherine mistakenly accompany them and are given permission to help them get out alive.

I may have liked this book better because of the setting. I love historical England. The characters worked better for me and I enjoyed their mistakes as well as the things that they did right. Besides, there's the wicked uncle who steals the throne, awful medieval food, armor, swords, and archaic English.  What's not to like?

This also completes a book from my Book Bucket List.  Yay!  I'm beginning to widdle it down.  There are a ton to go. 

Now I will venture to the third book.

Sabotaged (The Missing, #3)Sabotaged by Margaret Peterson Haddix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To repair the damage of time kidnapping, Jonah and Katherine are helping Virginia Dare return to her 17th century birthplace in the American colonies. Unfortunately, Roanoke has been abandoned and, without communication devices, our young time-travelers don't quite know what to do! The third Missing installment is a charm. Description from GoodReads.

I thought that this series would be a trilogy. I was wrong, this is just the third installment. The book's ending is unresolved and leads to another book.  The book is not out yet.  Darn, that means that I have to wait.

I enjoy historical fiction, this book happens in the year 1600 in Roanoke Colony, or should I say what was left of Roanoke. An English settlement that the inhabitants disappeared from. The only clue was the word 'Croatoan' carved into a log. A baby girl was the first settler to be born in the America's. Her name was Virginia Dare. In this story, Andrea  is returned to her correct time period. She was stolen and is really Virginia.

The kids, who are all 12 and 13 years old, must use their own resources to figure out how to fix time.  There is a mysterious time traveller who makes things more difficult for them.  They work together to fix time and thwart the man who calls himself "Second".  I like that the kids are facing difficult choices, but still act their age.  They think like kids.

This series of books is great for a middle grade reader.  Haddix researched the time periods.  To me the books feel authentic.  I believe that they could give children a realistic feel for the time periods depicted in the books.

I wouldn't recommend starting with this book. There is too much back story to understand. Start with the first book "Found,"


  1. Hi Lisa,
    Great review and I totally agree about the first book. I am not sure what it was about that book, but I had a hard time with it. The only reason that I even read the second was because of the time period involved. Now I just have to read the third book.

  2. i agree with the 4 out of five stars on sabatoged the missing book 3


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