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4.1 11
by Norah McClintock

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Two girls have recently disappeared near the town where Stephanie lives. She is concerned but is sure that it could never happen to her. But then it does. Tied up and alone far from home, she manages to escape her captor and run for her life. But she is in the middle of nowhere, with no food, no shelter and no way home. And worst of all, she has run away before, so


Two girls have recently disappeared near the town where Stephanie lives. She is concerned but is sure that it could never happen to her. But then it does. Tied up and alone far from home, she manages to escape her captor and run for her life. But she is in the middle of nowhere, with no food, no shelter and no way home. And worst of all, she has run away before, so she is sure that the police will not take her disappearance seriously. She will need to save herself, calling on lessons learned from her grandfather and an inner strength she never thought she had.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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."
Resource Links
"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."
CM Magazine
"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."
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
Kirkus Reviews
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)

Product Details

Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)
HL690L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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.

Meet the Author

Norah McClintock won the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for crime fiction for young people five times. She wrote more than sixty YA novels, including contributions to Seven (the series), the Seven Sequels and the Secrets series.

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Taken 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
The disappearance of two girls from a small town has the community on high alert. When one of the girls is found dead, parents are issuing strict words of caution to all teens about traveling in groups and not staying out after dark. Those words of caution go unheeded when Stephanie, angry at her mother, decides to take a shortcut across an empty field. The next thing Stephanie knows, she is waking up in a deserted wilderness cabin with her hands and feet tied. Alone in the filthy, abandoned cabin, Stephanie realizes she needs to take action quickly. Who knows when her kidnapper will return? Using a nail, she loosens the rope on her wrists and is able to free herself. Grabbing a few scant items, she heads off into the surrounding woods. Stephanie's back-story is slowly revealed as she stumbles along in search of safety. After the accidental death of her father several years earlier, her distraught mother sent her off to stay with her grandfather for the summer. While living with him for three months in his backwoods home, Stephanie learned to appreciate nature and the survival skills needed to exist in those primitive conditions. Now those skills are coming in handy as she attempts to survive and find help. While trudging in what she hopes is a westerly direction, Stephanie's memory regarding her kidnapping begins to return. However, as hard as she tries to remember, all she can piece together is that someone jumped her from behind and apparently drugged her and left her tied up in the cabin. As angry as she remembers being at her mother and her mother's boyfriend, Gregg, Stephanie wishes she was home safe and sound. Author Norah McClintock's TAKEN is a different twist on the usual survival story. Most such stories feature boys rather than girls, and the added mystery of a kidnapping increases the suspense. Although the pieces to Stephanie's puzzle are fairly easy to put together, TAKEN offers a fast-paced adventure that will interest most readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is pure perfection. I could not stop reading it. I was so into the book. This is a must read for sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I barely started reading this book and its amazing !! I think you should buy / read it too
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We have been reading it at school it has been awesome i'm in the part that Stephanie is supecting about Greg even i'm suspecting it is so awesome i wanna read ahead:) But i can't.....:(
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Ryan_G More than 1 year ago
Two girls have recently disappeared near the town where Stephanie lives, and there is talk of a serial killer. She is concerned but is sure that it could never happen to her. But then it does. Tied up and alone, she manages to escape her captor and run for her life. Bus she is in the middle of nowhere, with no food, no shelter and no way home. I have never been a big fan of YA fiction but lately I've been exposed to some really good examples lately. This book was one of them and I'm so happy I read it. Stephanie is an engaging character who finds herself in a hopeless situation and has the strength and courage to meet it head on and get herself to safety and her family. Unfortunately all is not what it appears to be once she is home and only by staying strong is she able to discover the truth of what happened to her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Collier County More than 1 year ago
Ive never read a book that has sooo much thrill and excitemennt. It eas sooo darimg when it came to the middle. Amnd mostlty iwoild not like something like that to happen to mee but it wasbsexy russin guys!!!!! Who wouldent want to get kidnaped by sexy russian guys???!!!