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I don't review books I don't like!
*****= An all-time favorite
by Donna Jo Napoli
Reviewed November 3, 2001.
Dutton Children’s Books. 2001. 151 pages.
I read this book this morning and couldn’t put it down. Good thing it’s short!
The situation is scary: Eleven-year-old Jackie Holt is vacationing with her father in Italy. Driving on a lonely road on their way back to her hotel, her father collapses at the wheel. First, she can’t get any cars to stop. Then two men do stop, but they do not take her to a police station. She doesn’t speak Italian and can’t communicate with them, but it doesn’t take her long to figure out she has been kidnapped.
At first, I thought this would be too scary for a young child, but that teenage girls would like it. Then I realized that an eleven-year-old protagonist is too young for teen reading. I decided that it was the mother in me that thought it so scary. And living in Europe, it strikes close to home. Kids these days read Goosebumps books--they would probably find this book quite thrilling.
At the end, I didn’t find the motivation of the kidnappers particularly convincing, but if it had been more convincing probably something horrible would have happened to Jackie. (She is not harmed by the kidnappers.) Jackie must figure out what is going on and how she can escape. She ends up forming a bond with a kidnapper’s sister. With the mystery element of why she was taken, perhaps this is another one that Nancy Drew readers would enjoy.
Reader comment: An anonymous reader gives this book 3 stars.
Reviews of other books by Donna Jo Napoli:
The Prince of the Pond
Jimmy: The Pickpocket of the Palace
Gracie: The Pixie of the Puddle
Daughter of Venice
The Great God Pan
Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund. All