Stolen Children by Peg Kehret, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Stolen Children

Stolen Children

4.7 85
by Peg Kehret
     
 

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When Amy agreed to baby-sit Kendra Edgerton, she had no idea she was stepping into a kidnapping plot. Two men force the girls out of the house and into a cabin in the woods, where they create DVDs to send to the families, in hopes of a large ransom from Kendra's wealthy parents. Using her wits and imagination, Amy stealthily sends clues to the police through the

Overview

When Amy agreed to baby-sit Kendra Edgerton, she had no idea she was stepping into a kidnapping plot. Two men force the girls out of the house and into a cabin in the woods, where they create DVDs to send to the families, in hopes of a large ransom from Kendra's wealthy parents. Using her wits and imagination, Amy stealthily sends clues to the police through the DVDs, but time is working against her: She has one week until her captors decide to return Kendra and get rid of Amy.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Paula McMillen
Since her dad died in a car accident, Amy has been working hard to help her mom with expenses, and she has vowed to earn enough money by summer's end to pay for her own school clothes. So she is happy to take a last minute babysitting job for the afternoon with the Edgerton's daughter, Kendra. Unfortunately, plans have already been set in motion to make this a job that will challenge Amy in ways her babysitting course didn't prepare her for: the Edgerton's vacationing nanny, Darielle, has schemed with her small-time crook of a boyfriend, Smokey, to kidnap Kendra and hold her for ransom. Even though the nanny broke up with Smokey, he has moved ahead with the plan and uses the duplicate house key Darielle made for him to walk in and take Kendra while she's napping. Amy discovers the attempt and is also taken hostage. Kidnappers Smokey and Hugh plan to film Kendra daily and send the discs to the parents in order to increase their anxiety and willingness to pay, but Amy cleverly uses the filming to communicate clues through games she makes up to play with Kendra. As days pass, time is running out. The police are following the clues, but maybe not fast enough. Just when the kidnappers are ready to bolt, Amy makes a desperate last attempt to escape with Kendra. This is a book that can be recommended without reservation about language or violence, and Amy offers a resourceful and determined model for teen girls. Reviewer: Paula McMillen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

Amy, 14, is hired by rich Mrs. Edgerton to fill in for her regular nanny. What should have been an easy job, three-year-old Kendra being a peach to watch, turns into a terrifying experience when the two girls are kidnapped and taken to a remote cabin in the woods. The two kidnappers videotape them and send DVDs to the Edgertons to convince them to pay a ransom for Kendra. Amy realizes that the men have no intention of allowing her to leave. She begins to work subtle clues into each video, hoping her best friend will be able to decipher their meaning. Finally, one of her clues pays off and a break is made in the case. Stolen Children features an interesting story and a strong female character, but the language is sometimes stilted and Amy occasionally seems more mature than her years. This book would be a good addition to large collections, or libraries with patrons clamoring for realistic thrillers.-Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT

Kirkus Reviews

Already feeling responsible for her father's recent death, 14-year-old Amy takes a babysitting job for wealthy Mrs. Edgerton, and right off the bat she and her three-year-old charge Kendra are kidnapped. Taken to an abandoned cabin by two bumbling, small-time criminals, the girls are offered for ransom, but instead of sending notes, the kidnappers videotape the girls and send DVDs to the parents. However, Amy has the wherewithal to send coded messages in the tapes, and part of readers' enjoyment is watching the filming and seeing if the parents can decode the messages. Kehret uses a third-person voice, allowing readers to follow the well-orchestrated actions of the various characters—kidnappers, hostages, parents, detectives, the nanny and other players who don't even realize they are players. The story is fast-paced, plot-driven and involving, with comic relief provided by the captors' fumbling machinations and little Kendra's behavior. A sure hit for the intended audience. (Thriller. 9-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525478355
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/16/2008
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
622,173
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Peg Kehret was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Minnesota, spent fourteen years in California, and now lives with her husband in Washington State. They have two grown children, four grandchildren, one dog, and one cat.

Peg's novels for children are regularly recommended by the American Library Association, the International Reading Association, and the Children's Book Council. She has won many state "young reader" or "children's choice" awards. Peg's characters are ordinary kids who find themselves in exciting situations and who use their wits to solve their problems. There is usually humor as well as suspense in her books. A long-time volunteer at The Humane Society, she often uses animals in her stories.

Before she began writing books for children, Peg published plays, short stories, articles, and two books for adults. She is a frequent speaker at conferences for librarians and teachers.

At the age of twelve, Peg had polio and was paralyzed from the neck down. Because she can remember that experience and her year of recovery so vividly, she finds it easy to write in the viewpoint of a twelve or thirteen year old. Most of her main characters are that age. Her autobiography, Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio, won the Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, and the PEN Center USA West Award for Children's Literature.

When she is not writing, Peg likes to watch baseball, bake cookies, and pump her old player piano.

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