Capture the Flag (Silver Jaguar Society Series #1)

Capture the Flag (Silver Jaguar Society Series #1)

4.4 25
by Kate Messner
     
 

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Three kids get caught up in an adventure of historic proportions!

Anna, José, and Henry are complete strangers with more in common than they realize. Snowed in together at a chaotic Washington D.C. airport, they encounter a mysterious tattooed man, a flamboyant politician, and a rambunctious poodle named for an ancient king. Even stranger, news stations

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Overview


Three kids get caught up in an adventure of historic proportions!

Anna, José, and Henry are complete strangers with more in common than they realize. Snowed in together at a chaotic Washington D.C. airport, they encounter a mysterious tattooed man, a flamboyant politician, and a rambunctious poodle named for an ancient king. Even stranger, news stations everywhere have announced that the famous flag that inspired "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been stolen! Anna, certain that the culprits must be snowed in too, recruits Henry and José to help catch the thieves and bring them to justice.

But when accusations start flying, they soon realize there's more than justice at stake. As the snow starts clearing, Anna, José, and Henry find themselves in a race against time (and the weather!) to prevent the loss of an American treasure.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for CAPTURE THE FLAG

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"A fast-paced mystery . . . a sparkling start for a promising new series." --KIRKUS REVIEWS

"A novel as cinematic in execution as it is patriotic in theme." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Publishers Weekly
Messner (Eye of the Storm) opens a mystery series with a novel as cinematic in execution as it is patriotic in theme—at one point, a character compares this adventure to the Jerry Bruckheimer–produced film National Treasure, and that’s not a bad call (though this story is free of explosions). After the flag that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner” is stolen during a gala at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., three seventh-graders, stranded at the airport during a freak snowstorm, investigate its disappearance, guessing that the storm might mean that the flag is at the airport, too. Not only were all three children—Anna, José, and Henry—at the Smithsonian event, it turns out they all have family members in the secret Silver Jaguar Society, whose members “made a promise to protect the world’s artifacts, and passed that promise down through generations.” Readers with even a few mystery novels under their belts will have no trouble picking up the clues Messner drops throughout this entertaining if conventional escapade. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (July)
Children's Literature - Sharon M. Himsl
The opening chapter sets the stage and suspense when a mysterious theft takes place at the Smithsonian's American History Museum in Washington D.C. during a private social gathering. The famous American flag that inspired The Star-Spangled Banner has been stolen! Added to the security chaos that follows, no one can leave Washington, D.C. due to a huge blizzard. Anna, Henry, and Jose, three seventh graders who were at the social gathering with their parents, are now stuck at the airport waiting for their flights. It is only a matter of time before the three meet. Anna, being an aspiring journalist, is the first of the three to figure out that if everyone is stuck at the airport, so is the thief who stole the flag. A lot of discussion and speculation over a suspicious man they decide to call "Snake-Arm" follows that almost drags the story to a crashing halt. Another character, Senator Snickerbottom, wants Anna to interview him and sidetracks their investigation. But eventually they meet eight-year-old Sinan and his dog, Hammurabi. The story then picks up when Sinan and his dog disappear. Anna, Henry, and Jose offer to look for him but it is just the opportunity they need to find out who "Snake-Arm" really is. They are certain he knows something about the flag. But they are not prepared for the shocking discovery they soon uncover, and suddenly, their lives are in danger. From there the story is a rousing, fun ride through the airport on motorized carts and a luggage conveyer belt that takes them through an octopus of connecting belts and tunnels. They even get separated, leaving Anna with some important decisions to make. Reviewer: Sharon M. Himsl
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Three preteens are in Washington, DC, to view the flag that inspired the "Star Spangled Banner," which had recently been restored. Anna Revere-Hobbs, a budding reporter and daughter of one of Vermont's senators, is looking for a scoop. She hopes to land an interview with presidential hopeful Senator Robert Snickerbottom, but he isn't interested. Henry Thorn doesn't want to be in DC at all, but he's stuck visiting his Aunt Lucinda while his newly married father honeymoons. José McGilligan's scientist mother has been away for three weeks working on the restoration project. He has missed her terribly and he's hoping his life will return to normal now. Unfortunately, the flag is stolen during the night, and his mother has been detained since she was one of the last to view it. The three meet at the airport as they jockey for available outlets to recharge their electrical devices. A fierce snowstorm is about to strand everyone. As news dribbles in, Anna begins to suspect that the flag is somewhere in the airport and convinces the two boys to help her sniff out some clues. As they do, they learn that each of them has historical pedigree and a parent who is a member of a secret organization called the Silver Jaguar Society. Think of a "39 Clues"/National Treasure mash-up. There's plenty of action, suspense, and red herrings to keep eager mystery fans turning pages despite a rather buffoonish presidential candidate and huge holes in security at our nation's capital no less. As usual, Messner creates believable characters, nails the dialogue, and deftly weaves history and humor into the mix.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
When the Star-Spangled Banner is taken from its super-secure Smithsonian vault, three kids connected by their Vermont background and family membership in a secret artifact-protection society combine with a visiting fourth to find the irreplaceable national treasure. Messner launches her projected three-book Silver Jaguar Society series with a fast-paced mystery. It finds a diverse group of young people snowed in at an airport with an aspiring presidential candidate; they must engage in an improbable but gripping hide-and-seek game through the belts and tunnels of the baggage-handling system to find the flag and avoid the perpetrators. There's a character for every reader: Anna, an aspiring journalist; African-American Henry, facing big family changes; José, who loves books; and 8-year-old Sinan, Pakistani son of two traveling musicians. The frenetic action comes right out of Henry's beloved video games or José's well-thumbed Harry Potter volumes, but there are political overtones, too. The xenophobia behind some proposals for immigration reform is addressed directly when José suggests that Anna's family might be Malfoys, and again as candidate Snickerbottom accuses "artsy all-over-the-world orchestra types" of the theft. While the way the cast moves in and out of secure areas of the airport is improbable, readers caught up in the chase won't care. Just in time for the Fourth of July, a sparkling start for a promising new series. (Mystery. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545419741
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/2013
Series:
Silver Jaguar Society Series, #1
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
85,486
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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