Fourteen-year-old Amy Nordlund desperately regrets that morning she spent with her father. Because of a stupid, completely avoidable mistake she made, her dad postpones leaving for work to lecture her on responsibilities. Not only do they have an argument, but it also turns out to be the last thing she says to him, as he dies in a car accident on his way to work.
Somehow, Amy and her mother wade through the grief and guilt, and try to go on with their lives. Amy is determined to make up for her mistakes and prove to her father that she can be responsible. She signs up for a babysitting class in hopes of earning a bit of money to help with some of the bills. Then she lucks out and her babysitting class teacher recommends her for a new job. Three-year-old Kendra’s parents are rich; they even keep the expensive kind of ice cream in the freezer. And Kendra is a complete doll, easy to take care of, very sweet and even goes down for her nap without any fuss. But that’s when the simple part of the job ends.
Two strangers burst into the scene and kidnap Amy and Kendra. Originally, Amy hadn’t been part of the plan, but the kidnappers decide to take advantage of another ransom. They take the girls out to a remote cabin without any electricity or running water. Amy tries her best to keep Kendra clean, fed, entertained and relaxed while struggling to remain calm herself. The abductors plan to use a series of videos to increase the parents’ fear and anxiety, leading up to demanding the ransom.
Desperate to do something, Amy cleverly designs some clues to slip into the videos, hoping her mom and best friend will figure them out and pass them on to the police. But what if her clues don’t work? Amy has no doubt that Kendra’s parents will pay the ransom and Kendra will be returned. But what about Amy? Her mom has no money.
Award-winning author Peg Kehret offers an exciting, non-stop adventure that is sure to grab the reader’s attention and never let go. She has a unique writing style that isn’t cluttered with unneeded words. Her sentences and descriptions are precise and straight to the point, making STOLEN CHILDREN a fast and enjoyable read. The characters are vivid and memorable, especially Amy, who is also relatable, admirable, clever and believable with her faults and fears. Kehret has penned yet another winning story.
Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on February 18, 2010
- Publication Date: February 18, 2010
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Puffin
- ISBN-10: 0142415138
- ISBN-13: 9780142415139