Found (The Missing, book 1)
By Margaret Peterson Haddix, read by Chris Sorenson
Published 2008 by Recorded Books
WARNING: There may be spoilers ahead!
13 year old Jonah has always known he was adopted, but it's never really mattered that much to him. Then, he and his new friend Chip (who just found out that he's adopted, too) begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, "You are one of the missing." The next one says, "Beware! They're coming back to get you!" Now Jonah, Chip, and Jonah's sister Katherine are rushing to discover what it means and solve the mystery of the letters - before whoever sent them shows up.
You know, I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but I think this is only the second book by Haddix that I've ever read. I have a lot of her books on my "to-read" list but I just haven't found the time to read them yet. I downloaded this one for my iPod and listened to it while driving (I'm amazed at the number of books I manage to read while commuting for work). The premise of this one greatly intrigued me. I admit that I knew a little more about the plot than I wrote up there - the book relies on time travel to explain much of what's going on with Jonah and Chip - but I was very interested to see how it all worked out. If you know me in real life, you may or may not have discovered my aversion to most things having to deal with time travel (really, it makes my head hurt trying to understand it). However, Haddix makes the science part secondary to the story, which is endlessly interesting - Jonah and Chip, along with 34 other children, have been taken from their real lives throughout history, where they were in grave danger. There is a plotline revolving around competing sides to the argument - should the children have been taken in the first place? How did their disappearances change the course of history? Should the children - now living in the 21st-century - be forced to return to these other lives? It's all very interesting and well-done and I think kids would find the arguments very appealing. What I am most interested in, though, is finding out who exactly the children are. It isn't until the very end of this first book that we discover Chip's true identity. I think Haddix has found a very clever premise and run with it, making for an exciting and very unique series. I can't wait to read more!
The audio version (how I read the book) is well-done. Once again, the reader does a great job of using inflection to distinguish between characters. I did find his voice for Katherine kind of irritating, but overall, he does an excellent job.