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SNATCHED by Pete Hautman

SNATCHED

by Pete Hautman & Mary Logue

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: May 18th, 2006
ISBN: 0-399-24377-1
Publisher: Sleuth/Penguin

This lightweight whodunit stays puzzling through trickery. Brian Bain just wants to stay out of trouble for a little while, for since his last adventure in the chemistry lab he’s been grounded. However, when a fellow student is kidnapped, Brian teams up with student journalist Roni to solve the mystery. Alicia, the kidnapped girl, was the victim of a brutal mugging the week before—could her disappearance be connected to the beating? Brian and Roni investigate ex-boyfriends, absent-minded adults and an island full of frightening but entertaining squatters. A reader who can see through the mystery’s misdirection might solve the puzzle before Brian and Roni. A frustratingly casual treatment of child abuse mars this venture, however; a woman who’s known to be responsible for a child’s vicious beating strikes that child in front of the police and is not immediately restrained or ever arrested. If the story contained any condemnation of this behavior, perhaps it wouldn’t be so jarring, but the characters seem more willing to condemn potential male abusers than actual female ones. (Fiction. 10-12)