This apparently final installment of the Missing series plunges Jonah into a quandary: The villains Gary and Hodge have begun their master plan to steal all the children from history and sell them in the future, with the help of Charles Lindbergh.
The action kicks off when Charles Lindbergh snatches Jonah’s sister, Katherine, from their living room. Time agent JB takes Jonah and family friend Angela to a “time hollow” where they can monitor events, but soon they find themselves clinging to the outside of Lindbergh’s plane as he flies across the Atlantic in 1927. They escape and begin an investigation of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping in 1932, eventually learning how Gary and Hodge have drawn the aviator into their scheme. The safety of time itself depends on Lindbergh’s and Jonah’s choices—and JB, Angela and Jonah’s parents have all been “un-aged” into 13-year-olds. Jonah finds himself dragged to and fro in time, always fearful that he will destroy its flow. Haddix bogs the narrative down with explanations of the workings of time travel, and the story lacks the usual repartee between Jonah and Katherine, un-aged back to infancy. Still, if readers can unravel the mechanisms of time well enough to understand the ins and outs of the story, they finally will learn who Jonah really is.
This long and intricate conclusion should satisfy fans, but it’s not likely to win new ones. (Paranormal suspense. 8-12)