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Stolen Children

Stolen Children

4.7 87
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


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

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)

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.

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.92(w) x 5.12(h) x 0.47(d)
730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 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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Stolen Children 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 87 reviews.
blackmiss More than 1 year ago
14 year old Amy babysitts little Kendra.Two evil men come to take Kendra while Amy babysitts her.They both end up kidnapped.Amy sends clues to those who are friends and family.Amy will risk it all to escape the clutches of the two men with Kendra. Will she acomplish her mission?This is for you to find out.Join us reading about a girl trying to save a little girl's life and her own in a adventure.
jrobinson More than 1 year ago
Peg Kehret's Stolen Children is the most mind reeling book I've ever read. Amy has just passed her babysitting course, but nothing has prepared her for two men to come and take her and the little girl Kendra at gun point. Amy like to right stories, she thinks back to a story she has just written Winning Secrets. In her story the main character gives clues about her location without letting the kidnappers know. Will Amy make it out alive? Will the kidnappers get what they want? I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves suspenseful stories.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There's a first time for everything. Last night was the first time I've ever stayed up late because I wouldn't have been able to get to sleep without finishing a book written expressly for children. The title of this compelling work is Stolen Children, the author, Peg Kehret. It's an October release from Dutton. The story is that of fourteen-year-old Amy Nordlund, who forgot to look after a dog left in her care. After her father reprimanded her for her neglect, he was killed in an automobile accident, leaving Amy upset that she'd never be able to redeem herself, either in her father's eyes or in her own. To help earn money to maintain the household, Amy takes a babysitting class, then obtains a job with a well-to-do family. Unfortunately, on the first day, two criminals kidnap Amy and her three-year-old charge, Kendra. They drive the girls to a remote location, from where they plan to send DVDs to Kendra's family, hoping to extort a large ransom payment. Amy has an opportunity to escape, but only by leaving Kendra behind. That, she will not do. She needs to figure a way to get both the little girl and herself away no small feat. One kidnapper, Smokey, is 'a firecracker with a short fuse,' and with a gun as well. The other, Hugh, an ex-con, is determined to make a bundle from the kidnapping to start a new life. While Amy tries to devise an escape plan, she also sends clues via the DVDs, hoping her mother and her friend, Jorja, will pick up on them. Meanwhile, she is responsible for 24/7 care for Kendra, and knows the kidnappers will shoot her if she is unable to keep the little girl out of their hair. Any writers of thrillers - for adults, children, or anyone else - can take lessons from Peg Kehret. The suspense never wavers as one tense episode resolves, it leads directly into another. Characters are all well-delineated, descriptions vivid, dialogue crisp and never stilted. Amy is not, God help us, 'spunky ' she is an intelligent, wise, brave and resourceful heroine, plenty good enough to do what needs doing, but never too good to be true. Above all, this is a story of responsibility and redemption. Without ever mounting a soapbox, the author conveys, through the words and deeds of the characters, the importance of being responsible, the costs of irresponsibility, and the conviction that it's never too late (in fact, the sooner, the better), to learn from mistakes. Peg Kehret's books are universally excellent this is one of her very best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With her nanny of two months Darielle Monroe on vacation, due to an emergency in which her mom was rushed to the hospital with a broken leg, wealthy Elyse Edgerton hires fourteen year old Amy Nordlund to baby-sit her three years old Kendra. Amy took Mrs. Montes babysitting class as she still feels guilt from disappointing her dad when she failed to take responsibility for walking her neighbor¿s dog as she had promised his last words to her was he was ashamed of her he died right after that last lecture in a car accident.--------------- Two men enter the Edgerton residence using a key. They kidnap Kendra and when Amy tries to intercede they take her too. Smokey Sanderson and his Uncle Hugh send DVDs to the families demanding ransom money, but are unaware that Amy is sending secret messages to her best friend Jorja. She knows she might not make it out alive, but heeding her late dad¿s advice on responsibility her first mission is to keep Kendra safe.------------- Targeting older elementary school children, STOLEN CHILDREN is an exciting thriller starring a fascinating cast and filled with subtle interwoven ethical lessons. Amy is a clever, brave lead protagonist as she carries guilt and shame while grieving her father¿s death she had several opportunities to escape but each would have left her infant charge alone with the kidnappers so she stays as a responsible person to try to keep the baby safe. The support cast is solid although Smokey has smoked one too many illegal substances. Peg Kehret provides an interesting fast-paced tale filled with interwoven into the plot messages to get involved when something seems off, fulfill your commitments including making up for errors as saying your sorry may be only the beginning of fair repayment, and stay calm and think during a crisis.--------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fourteen-year-old Amy Nordlund signs up for a babysitting class in attempt to earn some cash. She them Her class teacher recommends her for a new job watching three-year-old Kendra. Kendra’s parents are rich and she is an angel, very easy to take care of. It all looks like it’s going to work out smoothly for Amy, then things take a turn for the worst. As Amy decides to take a nap while Kendra slept in her room, two thugs break into the house, kidnap Kendra, and a few minutes later decide to abduct Amy as well. Amy hadn’t been a part of the original plan, but the kidnappers chose to take advantage of an opportunity for more money. The kidnappers take the girls to a cheap and faulty remote cabin. Amy does her best to keep Kendra cleaned, fed, and happy, all while struggling to relax herself. The abductors had a plan to use a series of videos to develop high levels of fear and anxiety, leaving the parents’ no choice but to pay any demanding ransom. Upon attempting to sneak out and failing every time, Amy gets clever, using a different and unique tactic she hopes her mom and best friend will decode to reveal her location. However, if er strategy fails, what happens then? There’s no doubt that Kendra’s parents will pay the ransom to have their daughter returned home. But what about Amy? The reason she started babysitting to begin with was for money to help her mom. If her mom can’t pay the ransom, what lies in store for her?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Introduction Amy Nordlund is babysitting three year old Kendra, when two criminals kidnap them and take them to a remote cabin in the woods. The criminals plan to send videos of the two girls to their parents, and will keep sending them until they pay a large amount of money. Amy uses clever signals to show her parents where they are and her parents can pass them to the police. The police figure out where they are and the girls are found, the ransom doesn’t have to be paid, and the criminals are in jail. I think this book is very exciting and there’s always an unexpected twist! I would definitely reread this book! Description and summary of main points Stolen Children is a mystery that has many plot twists that keep it interesting. Anyone who likes a good mystery would fall in love with this book after reading the first few pages. Peg Kehret directed this book towards younger audiences; therefore there is no vulgarity or inappropriate language. Peg has written many other books that deal with animals. Evaluation This book is very well thought out and written to a point where younger audiences can understand what’s going on. The unexpected twists are always something I look for within a book. I like that it’s shorter than most books, yet very detailed. I would recommend this book to someone my age, I would also read it again! Conclusion: All around this is a wonderful book! I would definitely reread it! Again, I like the twists of the plot and where it’s written to where younger audiences can understand it. Your final review: Amazing book, I will definitely be rereading this in the near future!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maranna More than 1 year ago
In the book STOLEN CHILDREN, a baby-sitter and dog walker named Amy is called by a rich woman named Mrs. Edgerton. Mrs. Edgerton needs a baby-sitter for her young daughter, so she can visit her sickly mother in the hospital. When she leaves the Edgerton mansion, Amy does the basic baby-sitter stuff with the young and very creative daughter, Kendra. After Kendra had been sleeping for a while, Amy cannot find her in the house. Two men (one with a gun) pull up and break in. They take Amy and Kendra to a remote cabin deep in the woods. They two men, Smokey and Hugh, tape them daily and send the videos to Kendra’s rich family to get ransom money. Amy’s friend is now staying with Amy’s mom to give her some company, and she and Amy’s mom also watch the tapes. Her friend notices that Amy is basically playing charades, and they figure out about Smokey and Hugh. After many escape attempts, Amy takes Kendra and steals the bandit’s car. STOLEN CHILDREN is a very good book, and I would recommend you to read it. The book has many interesting surprises, the book keeps you on the edge of your seat, and it is an easy read.
weee More than 1 year ago
I just read the book Stolen Children by Peg Kehret and let me tell you a little bit about it. If you like things that happen so quickly then this is a really good book for you to read. From the minute I picked the book up it was hard to even put down again. It is so great and there is so much action in it, it’s crazy. My opinion to this book is, amazing because like I said it was hard to put down once I picked it up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stolen Children 'Stolen Children' is a book about a 14 year old babysitter named Amy and a 3 year old child named Kendra. When Amy finds that Kendra is no longer napping in her bed, she gets extremely worried, for she would do anything to consider herself a responsible babysitter, and soon friend to Kendra. Amy finds a van in the driveway and soon spots two kidnappers. Amy finds Kendra in the van and then gets in herself. They were taken to a dirty, small log cabin deep in the woods. Amy starts creating signals that help the police find them in ransom videos. It was a great story and incredibly suspenseful. It was also an inspiring story that taught you a lesson not to give up, and always be optimistic; hope for the best. It was an amazing book. I'd definitely recommend it and rate it five stars. !
Crazy-Rednecks More than 1 year ago
When I began the book called" The Stolen Children" I knew right away I would be interested in reading it because on the front cover was eye catching. The front cover was a picture of a rocking chair in a dark room with a teddy-bear on the floor. A good part of the story is when Kendra gets fussy because it is her nap time. Amy took Kendra upstairs and laid her down. Amy came back down the stairs and opened the door and walked out onto the patio. While she was outside she heard a car, but she thought it's not a big deal maybe its one of the neighbors. Amy went back inside because it was time for Kendra to get up from her nap. Amy went up the stairs and Kendra was missing from her bed. She started to panic and she didn't know what to do. She heard Kendra crying from outside. She ran out there and seen Tubby her cat lying on the ground beside a mud puddle. Amy wanted to put clues in the videos the guys were taking of them to send ton the parents. The main characters are Kendra, Amy, Hugh, Smokey, and the parents of both of the children. Amy needed a job and Kendra's mom needed a babysitter. Amy got the babysitting job. While Amy was babysitting Kendra somebody came and kidnapped them. This story took place at several different scenes. Two major places so far re in the Cabin and at Kendra's house. They kidnapped the girls because they needed money. The kidnappers held them captive until someone would give them a reward for returning them. They took the girls after Kendra's mom left and it was in the afternoon. The Author of this book is Peg Kehret.
bookloverNR More than 1 year ago
i read this book adn it only took me 2 days to finish it. your never able to put the book down. each little thing is a surprise. the main character teaches kids to think hard no matter how bad the sistuation might be!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Am Only 13 Years Old. And This Is By Far The Greatest Book I Have Read. R.L Stine Is My Favorite Author, But After This I Look Foward To Finding Peg Kehret Books! This Is About A Girl Who Takes Up A Babysitting Job After Her Father Passes Away And While Babysitting The Child Was Kidnapped. Her And The Child Are Going Through Series Of Events To Get Away From These Kidnappers. It Is A Awesome Story! FIVE STARS :)
EcoFreako More than 1 year ago
I found this on the floor of my friend's house, picked it up and before I knew it it was 9:00 and I had finished the whole book. I can't even begin to describe how detailed, how genius it was. I had never read Peg Hehret before but this definitely got me hooked and I'll be making a trip to theta book store soon. I'd love to see a sequel where Kendra is a babysitter and Alli is all grown up but Kendra is babysitting her children. That'd be cool.
Colemanstudent-KNF More than 1 year ago
Amy a typical high school kid has to start babysitting Kendra a 2 year old baby for Kendra's Mom and Dad who have to work Constently.. One Night as Amy was putting Kendra to bed Amy's phone rang and so to not wake up the baby Amy took her call outside. Then about 5 minutes later when Amy cam back into the house Kendra was gone.. her teddy bear that Kendra could not sleep without was in the kitchen floor.. Amy tried to call the cops but as soon as she got to the phone the shr found a bit of a surprise.. To find out what was at the phone READ the book Stolen Children...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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orangecrush More than 1 year ago
Stolen Children by Peg Kehret is about a 14 year old girl named Amy whose life has been on a downward swing. Moments after she and her father share hurtful words with one another he is killed in a car crash. Then there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. She is hired by a very wealthy Mrs.Edgerton to fill in one night, as her regular nanny was out. What should have been an easy job turns into a nightmare. Two men, Smokey and Hugh, kidnap Amy and 3 year old Kendra and take them to a remote cabin. The men videotape the girls and send the tapes to their families in hope of getting ransom. What the men don't know is that Amy has cleverly designed clues to slip into the tapes. Will her family understand her clever clues? You will have to read it and find out yourself. It is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat! The author has a unique way of writing that isn't cluttered with unneeded words. Her sentences are straight to the point, making it a very fast but enjoyable read. The characters are very vivid and memorable, especially Amy who is clever,and believable. I loved this book and I'm sure anyone else who reads it will as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago