Children's Literature - Cathi I. White
Fear was prevalent in the small town near where Stephanie lived. Two teenage girls had disappeared and were feared dead. The town has warned teenage girls not to venture out alone because of the killer on the loose. However, Stephanie does not heed the warning and walks home from a friend's house. Surprising to her, she is kidnapped and taken to an abandoned house. She knows if she does not escape she may die like the others. As she plans her route of escape she remembers her survival skills her grandfather has taught her. Could she possibly use them if she was able to escape? She did not know where she was or who had done this to her. What if she never saw her mother again? They had not been getting along because of mom's new boyfriend. But did that matter now? Would she be able to survive if she did escape? Readers will not be able to put this exciting, captivating book down. Find out how Stephanie gets free, the journey she takes as she tries to get back home, and the horrible secret she discovers in her adventures. Reviewer: Cathi I. White
School Library Journal
Gr 7–9—When Stephanie hears about two girls who have gone missing, one of whom was found murdered near her town, she is sure it will never happen to her—until it does. After someone grabs her while she is taking a shortcut home, she wakes up in a shack in the middle of nowhere. She manages to untie herself and escape. The rest of the book follows Stephanie as she runs for her life trying to find someone, anyone, to help her. Eventually, the identity of the kidnapper, which is evident from the first few chapters, is revealed. This book has a lot of potential, but it's just not reached. The story seems contrived, from how easy it is for Stephanie to escape to the obvious villain. The book is written on a very easy reading level, suitable for reluctant readers, but it might not hold their interest.—Robyn Zaneski, New York Public Library
Stephanie dislikes Gregg, her mother's boyfriend-he's diametrically the opposite of Stephanie's deceased father, whom she misses greatly. After two girls from a nearby town go missing everyone goes on high alert, suspecting a serial killer, and while walking home, Stephanie is grabbed from behind and injected with a drug that knocks her out. She awakens hours later to find herself tied up in an abandoned cabin deep in a densely wooded area. Logically enough, Stephanie fears she is the killer's next victim. Armed with some basic knowledge of survival and a few items gleaned from the cabin, her harrowing journey back to safety propels this plot-driven, fast-paced tale forward. Reluctant readers will not be discouraged by Stephanie's lack of personal growth, nor that she suffers no ill effects from her traumatic experience. Instead, they will be riveted as Stephanie overcomes one life-threatening mishap after another and will puzzle out long before Stephanie does the kidnapper's true identity. Told in the first person, this suspenseful survival story is sure to have strong appeal. (Thriller. 12 & up)
Just a few pages into McClintock's (Dooley Takes the Fall) fast-moving thriller, teenage narrator Stephanie becomes the third girl in two months to be abducted near her rural town, as she crosses through a vacant field. Awakening in a deserted cabin, Stephanie is both terrified and level-headed, managing to free herself and venture into the forest ("They say that when you're lost in the woods and don't know where you are, the smartest thing you can do is to stay put.... But staying put wouldn't help me"). Luckily, Stephanie has a wealth of survivalist information at the ready—her "hermit" grandfather taught her everything from "how to use the sun as a compass" to how to find food (such as grubs and the inner bark of birch trees). While Stephanie's preexisting wilderness knowledge feels convenient, it doesn't detract from her emotional turmoil nor does it guarantee an easy escape. McClintock's dialogue feels genuine, though readers spend the majority of the novel in Stephanie's head, as she uses clear thinking and a substantial reserve of inner strength to find her way home. Ages 12—up. (Oct.)
For the Love of All That Is Written blog
"Well-written for the targeted audience. It was simple, yet gripping."
"McClintock does an admirable job of weaving suspenseful elements together while tantalizing the reader with seemingly disconnected snippets of information…I definitely recommend this novel. It is well-written and it proceeds at a pace appropriate to the development of tension necessary to carry it along."
Tri State Young Adult Book Review Committee
"The plot is fast-paced and the heroine is likeable...This survival story is a page-turner."
"Award-winning novelist McClintock adds another well-paced tale for adolescent readers to her impressive collection… A story about an engaging and smart protagonist facing seemingly insurmountable odds and surviving should appeal to early teen readers accustomed to tidy television-style adventures neatly packaged and resolved. Highly Recommended."
"Riveting, and never becomes too harrowing."
What If? Magazine
"McClintock has written yet another thought-provoking book. The emotions and struggles that Stephanie works through make you feel like you are there."
Puget Sound Council
"A fast-paced story told in the first person...The character is compelling and the descriptions are great—you can practically taste the grubs. The cover is eye-catching as well. This is sure to be a hit with teen readers."
Quill & Quire
"Taken is an engrossing study of the humbling effects of solitude, and it offers an unflinching depiction of the unforgiving and often brutal realities of the natural world."
Read an Excerpt
I lay on the gritty wooden floor of the filthy shack, frozen with terror. For weeks I had been hearing about the two girls who had disappeared, but I had never in a million years thought that something like that was going to happen to me.
But here I was, tied up, groggy, panic-stricken—and waiting. Waiting for whatever had happened to the girl who had been found "not alive." Waiting for whatever had happened to the other girl.
This couldn't be happening to me.
But it was.