The Missing #1
Young Adult, Science Fiction
Simon & Schuster
April 22, 2008
Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known that he was adopted, and he's never thought it was any big deal. Then he and a new friend, Chip, who's also adopted, begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, "You are one of the missing." The second one says, "Beware! They're coming back to get you."
Jonah, Chip, and Jonah's sister, Katherine, are plunged into a mystery that involves the FBI, a vast smuggling operation, an airplane that appeared out of nowhere - and people who seem to appear and disappear at will. The kids discover they are caught in a battle between two opposing forces that want very different things for Jonah and Chip's lives.
Do Jonah and Chip have any choice in the matter? And what should they choose when both alternatives are horrifying?
I recently bought a bundle of audiobooks and Found was one of the titles I received. I wasn’t a big fan of audiobooks until I listened to the narration of this story and found myself instantly hooked. Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix is the first book in The Missing series. It’s a wonderfully crafted young adult science fiction novel about a seventh grader named Jonah Skidmore.
Jonah is an adopted child and over the course of the story, he discovers there’s more going on in his little town than meets the eye. The government is involved in something that’s out of this world. And with the help of his sister Katherine and his best friend Chip, who is also adopted, the truth about these teens’ biological parents surfaces.
Jonah and Chip are both thirteen and Kathrine is twelve, though she tries to act much older, but all three kids are adorable to follow along as they try to solve the mystery surrounding Jonah and Chip’s adoption. Not to mention a whole list of other children that were also adopted and tied up in a massive plot to change history.
Through their juvenile detective work, Jonah, Chip and Kathrine come in contact with FBI agents and a woman named Angela DuPre that seems to know a secret. They also meet a strange janitor that disappears through walls. There’s no magic in this story exactly.
What’s going on in these kids’ world has more to do with bending the laws of physics and time manipulation. In other words, time travel. But I don’t want to totally spoil the ending for you. I’ll just say I was surprised by the twist in the story’s plot and did not expect that Jonah and Chip’s biological parents would be from… well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.
Haddix crafts an interesting story. And though I don’t usually take an interest in young adult novels, I liked Found for its characters, storyline, and, yes, even the dialogue. The dialogue between characters is believable. The teenagers talk like teenagers and the parents sound like convincing adults, especially Jonah’s mother who fits the role of a concerned mother quite well.
I had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook version from Recorded Books with Chris Sorensen as the narrator. The only downside to the audiobook was that some of Mr. Sorenen’s portrayals of female characters came off as a little creepy.
It sounded like he struggled with producing voices for the women or younger girls at times. Other than that, the narration was solid. Sorensen did a great job as narrator and even performed convincing voices for the other various characters.
Overall, Found is a good wholesome story with an engaging plot and a surprising ending. I would definitely recommend Found to any science fiction fan. And while the story is geared towards a younger audience, it’s a great book for matures readers as well.