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by Elaine Scott

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-- This slim volume attempts to address the subject of child kidnapping, explaining why it occurs and how it may be prevented. A final chapter suggests ways in which a victim may find help. It is doubtful that a child in that situation would have access to this book, or the emotional calm to act on the advice given--call the police, relatives, etc. As a prevention tool, the book fails, raising unnecessary fears and giving contradictory messages. Scott discusses the media hype concerning missing children, yet this book seems to capitalize and add to that sensationalism. She states that there is only one chance in a million of a child's being kidnapped, but stresses the need for children to be alert to potential dangers and suspicious happenings in everyday and family situations. There is a predictable dose of ``beware of strangers'' alerts, including the questionable statement that ``children do not have to be polite to adults they do not know.'' Despite the emphasis on strangers, the book stresses that most victims are kidnapped by parents. Children are told they are never responsible for child kidnappings, yet the book emphasizes the need for them to take active responsibility for their own safety. Some of the analogies presented are also peculiar. Stealing a child isn't comparable to taking a skateboard, nor is the guilt felt by a child-stealing parent equal to that of someone who takes a bike without permission. Child kidnapping is too important, complex, and sensitive a topic to be treated as simplistically and superfically as it is in this well-intentioned, but flawed, book. --Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI

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Scholastic Library Publishing
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