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Capture the Flag Hardcover – July 1, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for CAPTURE THE FLAG

A Junior Library Guild Selection

"A fast-paced mystery . . . a sparkling start for a promising new series." --KIRKUS REVIEWS

"A novel as cinematic in execution as it is patriotic in theme." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Kate Messner is the author of THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z., winner of the E. B. White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers; SUGAR AND ICE; EYE OF THE STORM; CAPTURE THE FLAG; SEA MONSTER'S FIRST DAY; OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW; and the Marty McGuire chapter book series. A former middle-school English teacher, Kate lives on Lake Champlain with her family and loves reading, walking in the woods, and traveling. Visit her online at www.katemessner.com.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press (July 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545395399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545395397
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kate Messner is the award-winning author of more than a dozen current and forthcoming books for young readers. Her first novel, The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z., won the 2010 E.B. White Read-Aloud Medal for Older Readers, while its follow-up, Sugar and Ice (Walker/Bloomsbury, 2010), was a Junior Library Guild selection. Kate is also the author of the popular Marty McGuire chapter book series and Silver Jaguar Society mysteries with Scholastic. Her pictures books with Chronicle Books include SeaMonster's First Day and Over and Under the Snow, an E.B. White Read Aloud Honor Book and NY Times and ALSC Notable book. Kate is a former middle school English teacher who also wrote REAL REVISION: AUTHORS' STRATEGIES TO SHARE WITH STUDENT WRITERS, a book about the revision process for teachers and writers (Stenhouse, 2011) Kate lives on Lake Champlain with her family, where she enjoys spending time outside biking, hiking, swimming in the summer, skiing and skating in the winter. Of course, she also loves curling up with a good book any day of the year. Follow her on Twitter @KateMessner and learn more at her website: http://www.katemessner.com.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Heise on July 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely adore Kate Messner's writing. I really enjoyed EYE OF THE STORM and CAPTURE THE FLAG was no disappointment either. One of the things I like most about Kate Messner's books is that she writes smart, honest, real characters. In this book they read, they write, one is a genius at video games, but they all have many layers to their characters without getting overly emotionally involved as would happen in more young adult books. Her cast of characters is also multicultural allowing more kids to relate to the teens they're reading about in the books. I also appreciate that although there is a main female character, there are two male characters in prominent roles also, so there is gender-neutral appeal to this book.

Another great thing about her books is the cross-curricular connections she makes. Especially in CAPTURE THE FLAG where there are many social studies/history ties to be made. In this book she has written a multilayered story with an intriguing mystery. I figured it out early on, but it is written for 3rd-7th graders, and I think it will appeal to them-especially if they're fans of heist stories. It's a fun story as the group is stuck overnight in an airport and as the kids band together to try to find the stolen flag, scene after scene builds up tension and humor as they find their way into all sorts of hidden places within the airport. It also has an exciting secret society aspect to it. I could see this turning into a great series. I know there's a sequel, but I hope there will be more than just one more book in this series. These could be characters who could solve these National Treasure (the movie) type mysteries in all different kinds of situations and meet other members of the society.

Kate Messner just has great writing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Library-Centers on September 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What do I like so much about Capture the Flag? I personally find history fascinating, but I have a hard time selling "historical fiction" to most of our elementary school students. It seems dry and distant to them, and they have a hard time connecting to events in our past. Capture the Flag is a fast-paced mystery/adventure, set in contemporary time, but it includes historical details. These details will tie in with what students are studying in the classroom, and stir their interest in American history.

The characters are believable middle school students (not sugary sweet, not juvenile delinquents) who find themselves in the midst of an intriguing crime. Someone has stolen the original Star Spangled Banner flag from the Smithsonian, and the three students are snowed in at a Washington, D.C. airport with the criminals and other interesting travelers. It's like the National Treasure movies, but with kids instead of adults solving the puzzle. I found that it was written at the right level for students to figure out the mystery at the same pace that the characters do, and to feel clever as they make those inferences.

Fourth and fifth grade teachers at our school have been reading this book aloud to our students and thoroughly enjoying it. If you are a teacher or librarian, consider buying Capture the Flag to encourage your students' interest in history!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By ajswrite on July 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Kate Messner has done it again! She has written a brilliant, high-interest, middle grade mystery that will have middle schoolers turning the pages. Unlike Eye of the Storm, Sugar and Ice, and The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z., this novel is a mystery with tidbits of interesting American history sprinkled throughout from start to finish. Like the others, this novel will keep the young reader's attention until the final pages.

Three believable youngsters, named Anna, Henry, and Jose, meet up at the Washington, DC airport after attending a gala at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. After becoming acquaintances, the kids learn that the original American flag (inspired The Star Spangled Banner) was stolen during the gala. With some persuading, Anna talks Henry and Jose into an adventure to uncover the truth about the heist of this American gem of an artifact. Along the way, the kids begin to learn about each other and form a friendship that will lead them to protect each other at any and all costs.

The young reader will be thrilled to find out that Messner's resolution leaves the possibility for another adventure, a sequel, which will surely be another page-turner. As a middle school teacher, this is one book that I can't wait to put into the hands of a sixth and seventh grader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth L. Stabler on March 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
WOW! What a great book about a crime. IT even has real details about real museums and airports. Definitely would recommend to any reader, young or old.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on March 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
All I can say is that I loved it. I think Ms. Kate Messner did a great job. I loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KAC on March 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have used this book with one of my reading groups in 5th grade. They are loving the mystery! This books gives many opportunities for great discussions and debates.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kate Coombs VINE VOICE on January 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Messner's book is a locked-room mystery in the sense that a bunch of people is trapped in an airport because of a snowstorm. Among those people are four kids who, after initial disinterest, team up to solve a mystery: someone has stolen the historic American flag that inspired "The Star-Spangled Banner." Each of the kids has some sort of connection to the flag. To start with, all four of them were at a museum reception for the flag exhibit the evening before--and the flag was stolen that night. Anna's mother is a newscaster and her father is a Senator. She sees herself as a budding news reporter. José's mother worked on restoring the flag. Henry's aunt is a history buff, though Henry would far rather play video games. Sinan is the son of two members of an orchestra from Pakistan that performed at the exhibit--an orchestra that is eventually accused of stealing the flag. Sinan is the owner of a rambunctious poodle named Hammurabi, too.

Anna tries to get an interview with Senator Snickerbottom, who is also in the airport. He's leading up to a campaign for president. Then there's Snake Eye, a man with an odd tattoo who acts suspiciously. Throw in a couple of thugs while you're at it. Pretty soon Anna and her friends are sliding and hiding in the luggage area, where a lot of chase scenes in the book take place. Later we find out about a secret society.

The four kids are likable, each with his or her quirks. For example, as he learns English, Sinan keeps a notebook in which he draws pictures to help him remember expressions like "full of beans" and "killing time." These pictures are included in the book. Anna is intrepid, José is sweet but sturdy, and Henry is sucked into things against his will but proves helpful in the end.
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