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Found, by Margaret Peterson Haddix

May 26, 2009

foundThirteen-year-old Jonah always knew he was adopted and finds out that his new friend, Chip, who just moved in across the street, is also adopted.  Then one day both of them receive letters sent to them with no return address.  The first letter says, “You are one of the missing,” and the second one says, “Beware! They’re coming back to get you.”  These two mysterious letters send Johan, Chip, and Katherine, Johan’s sister, to solve the mystery of what these letters mean. Who’s sending them? Who are their real parents that gave them up for adoption?

This book involves the FBI, a smuggling operation, an airplane appearing out of nowhere, and people appearing and disappearing; these events lead the three mystery-solvers to suspect that they have something to do with the letters and the adoptions.  Where are they disappearing to?

I rated this book a ten because some important fact or clue that maybe the character doesn’t know but the reader does know or think was revealed on almost every page.  So if you skipped one page, you would miss some important information, I guarantee.

I really liked the writing style of Margaret Peterson Haddix.  She crafted this wonderful book so that the mystery isn’t revealed on the twenty-fifth page.  She introduces the problem in the beginning and when the mystery is revealed, Margaret Peterson Haddix doesn’t (and I like it this way) write long-winded character personality sketches or pack the lead with dialogue.  Instead, the mystery starts right on page seven and she just lets you find out what the characters’ lives are like as the book develops.

I also like how she uses repetition. Johan and Chip find the first letter in their mail box and just think it is a prank. But Johan’s sister doesn’t. Then Katherine tells them that it is not a prank as well and then they look at all the clues or they think are clues from their dad and find a phone number. Do these clues have to do with the letter? Out of the blue, another letter comes to each of them, and they go to the FBI. But the FBI doesn’t help.  So where does that leave them? What do they do now?

This book is great for mystery lovers, and young adults who just love cliff hangers and fast-paced books. When I read this book, I felt like I was watching an I-Max movie because Margaret Peterson Haddix really explains everything the characters are feeling and seeing. I hope you choose to read this book.


Publisher:  Simon and Schuster, 336 pages

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