Ten-year-old Mary Rose and 7-year-old Jo-Beth are with their dad, being driven to an aunt’s house, when they run out of gasoline. Dad grabs the gas can and starts walking for the nearest gas station, leaving the girls in the car. When the younger sister Jo-Beth desperately needs a bathroom, they leave the car and walk several blocks to a library. The librarian, who is closing up as they come in, never sees them, and inadvertently locks up the place with the girls still there. And that is how their adventure begins!
I loved this fun, uncomplicated story. The library that the girls are trapped in is actually a hundred-year-old house that’s been converted into a children’s library/museum combo. The unusual sights the girls see during the night keep the story interesting. The story will appeal more to girls than to boys, since the main characters are female. The recommended reading level is 2rd-5th grade, although I think it could easily be enjoyed as a family book read aloud.
The book was first published in 1979, which explains the dated locks on the library door. Apparently the old house/library still had the original skeleton keys on the doors, which meant you literally couldn’t get out the door without the key – a huge safety issue that is no longer allowed with modern building codes. So someone will have to explain to young kids reading this book about the way old locks used to work, which could lead to an interesting discussion about safety. The book has been re-printed many times, and can still be found on Scholastic book-club fliers, in libraries, and on Amazon.
Despite her best efforts, Meg is still being held for ransom. Time is running out to meet the kidnappers’ demands. The Falconer parents, Meg’s brother Aiden, and FBI agent Harris frantically race to rescue her. Much of the story moves outside, into the deadly cold. The snowstorm scenes were described vividly, adding to the suspense of the book. In the end, we finally find out more about the kidnappers and why they chose Meg for their kidnapping scheme. This book is a very satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.
“The Search” picks right up where “The Abduction” left off.
The second book in the trilogy focuses on Meg and the different ways she attempts to escape from her captors. Her parents continue to work with the FBI, although they have a somewhat contentious relationship with Agent Harris, with whom they had a bad experience in a previous series, “On The Run”. Aiden tries to find his sister on his own, but encounters one failure after another. Will the Falconer family ever get Meg back?
If you’re look for action-oriented fiction that can be enjoyed by anyone in the family about fourth grade and up, consider Gordon Korman’s “Kidnapped” trilogy. I love that the premise of the book centers on a family and their love for each other. The Falconer family has already been through terrible times in the previous series “On The Run” (which maybe I should have read first). Just when life seems to be back to normal, the unthinkable happens: Meg, the 11-year-old daughter is abducted in broad daylight. Her 15-year-old brother Aiden is determined to find her, and their overwrought parents have to work with the FBI, whom they do not trust.
Instead of reading the printed book, I chose the audio version. My public library system had the downloadable audio-book available for checkout through the Hoopla app. The story was read aloud by two different narrators, one being the voice of Aiden and the other the voice of Meg. The book was about two and a half hours long, just perfect to listen to as I worked on sewing. Try out this trilogy!