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Abduction! Hardcover – November 18, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7–Matt, a kindergartener, meets his 13-year-old half sister every day after school for the ride home. When he fails to show up, Bonnie immediately notifies his teacher and principal, and a full-scale search ensues. Even though Matt has been taught "stranger danger," he is lured into the kidnapper's car with his own dog, stolen from his house. The kidnapper is the boy's father, whom he has never met, and who tells Matt that his mother and sister are dead. So even though the boy knows his phone number, he doesn't try to call. The story portrays a kidnapper's determination and the ease with which a child can be swayed by a stranger despite years of teaching. The novel also does a good job of incorporating modern-day search techniques, such as an Amber Alert, and explaining their use. The plot stretches a bit when Bonnie spots her brother at a Seattle Mariners game, but it does make for a suspenseful ending as she also becomes a victim. The story is resolved happily but with a twist showing the remorse of the people who could have helped along the way but didn't for various reasons. This novel has enough suspense to keep children interested, and it will also appeal to reluctant readers.–Diana Pierce, Running Brushy Middle School, Cedar Park, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-7. When 13-year-old Bonnie's younger brother and dog disappear, she and her mother experience all the fear, police attention, and media notoriety that often results from such tragedies. Meanwhile, six-year-old Matt is held captive by Denny, his bad-tempered father whom he has never met. Denny cruelly tells Matt that his mother and sister are dead, so the boy abandons hope. The coincidence of Bonnie's spotting Matt at a Mariners game leads to an exciting, movie-style climax. This quick read, which accurately reflects that most missing children are either abducted by relatives or run away, effectively builds suspense as the police make progress and Matt grows increasingly afraid of his gun-toting father. The fact that the characters are largely one-dimensional, especially the villainous Denny, mutes the emotional angst readers might have felt, leaving them free to enjoy the plot-driven thriller with a happy ending. Kathleen Odean
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1 edition (November 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525472940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525472940
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,509,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mel Odom VINE VOICE on March 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
ABDUCTION is an excellent suspense novel with a lot of good information about what families go through and can do in the event of an abduction. Peg Kehret combines a tremendous amount of facts throughout the tense narrative, such as the fact that most kidnapped children are taken by non-custodial parents and how an Amber alert works.

But the story is the real draw here. Matt, a kindergartener, goes missing from his school. His kidnapper is his biological father, a man he's never laid eyes on. Denny Thurman, Matt's dad, is a gambling addict whose latest scheme involves "borrowing" money from his sister and brother-in-law to raise his son.

Thirteen-year-old Bonnie, Matt's sister, gets caught up in the search for her little brother. Kehret pulls the reader into Bonnie's world, sharing her helplessness and frustration as well as the sharp fear that fills her.

The pacing is frantic as the reader flips back and forth between the scenes involving Bonnie, Matt, the kidnapper, and a few extra characters (like the elderly couple that finds the abandoned family dog, Pookie, and decides to take him home).

The climax of the book is exciting and uses a lot of the Seattle setting shown in the novel. Bonnie is a true heroine, but she's not of the Wonder Woman variety. She uses her wits and her heart, and stands her ground with the kidnapper to protect her little brother.

ABDUCTION is a great read to share with a pre-teen or even to be read to an aggressive third- or fourth-grader who likes being read to. My son and I enjoyed this book a lot, but some of the tense scenes made him nervous. He couldn't stop thinking about Matt and his situation until we turned the last page. More than that, he knows more about Stranger Danger and that there are a lot of agencies that look for missing children.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book to my class of 5th grade students, and we loved it. When it came time to stop reading each day, my students would beg me to continue reading. We did not want to put the book down. Almost all of my students voted Abduction their favorite book at the end of the year.

Not only is this a wonderful story to get kids excited about reading, it also naturally brings up some issues that children are thinking about. We talked about safety issues related to being abducted and making decisions and how they impact our lives. There was a scene that also stimulated a discussion on alcohol and kids.

For students living in Washington State, it was fun to read about the Mariners and Safeco field and other landmarks in our area. We could picture everything so clearly from the descriptive writing.

Peg Kehret's books are always appropriate for the classroom, and the children love her stories.
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Format: Hardcover
In this day and age...no mater how you drill into your kids the stranger danger phrase, you just never know. As a mom, I was introduced to this book by our library who did a book discussion group for grades 6-8. What an EXCELLENT choice! It's a fiction title that can educate your child as to the dangers of child abduction, and how easily a child can be tricked. I used it as an indepth topic of discussion across the dinner table with my 10 + 11yr old boys....and that sparked the 6yr old's attn as well.

Buy this book for your kids...discuss what's going on in the book as they read. Use the topic to educate them -I know that by just reading this book my kids are now safer than they were before...thanks to the author for writing a suspensful and timely book that kids will enjoy reading!
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A Kid's Review on December 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Amber Alert goes off. You turn on your T.V. faster than a man running across hot coals. Someone has been reported missing. Abduction is a scary thought, especially when you are very young. Most of us have been told to never to talk to strangers. Unfortunately, an eight-year-old boy named Matt encounters this situation in Abduction!

Matt was excused to go to the bathroom one day at school. On the way, he met a stranger. The stranger lied to him and told him his dog Pookie was hurt. He said Pookie was in the car, and Matt went into the car. He doesn't realize his father kidnapped him.

The eight-year-old struggles through many hard times while he was a hostage to his dad, who also was his mom's ex-husband. Matt realizes his father gambles often, and because of that, he loses money frequently. His dad tells another lie, saying his mom and sister were in a car accident and died. In Abduction!, the author shows the importance of family and not talking to strangers. This book is filled with adventure, sadness, and happiness. It teaches a valuable lesson to go along with the twists and turns of the exciting plot.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I can see where this book would be a conversation starter with your young child about "stranger danger" or even "not-stranger danger" abduction. But don't read this book if you're looking for a good read. The writing is mediocre at best.

Ok, it's a Young Adult novel and written from the point of view of a teenager. But the mother of the abducted child is referred to as "Mrs. Sch...(?)" Any child of any age will pick up on that. The mother is distant in the story and not involved in the plot line at all. And why refer to the Mom so distantly when she's Bonnie's mother too? It's distracting and makes it a very impersonal story.

The plot is laughable at times. Example: When talking to teen boys in a car, Bonnie tries to convince them to drive her to safety. Instead of saying the reasonable (and what anyone would say during a 1 minute conversation with someone who can help,) "I'm being abducted! A man is kidnapping me and my brother! He has a gun! Help me and drive me to a police station!" She says everything BUT that!! "Take me with you. Let me get in your car." Ugh. Please. Make some effort to make it a plausible story.

A final nit-picking detail that really bothers me and exemplifies the lack of writing skill in this book: At one point Bonnie is exhausted as if she "ran a 20 mile marathon." A marathon is 26.2 miles so it's either "ran 20 miles" or "ran a marathon." Minor detail, but it shows the lack of writing effort in this book.
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