THE FAMOUS STANLEY KIDNAPPING CASE by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

THE FAMOUS STANLEY KIDNAPPING CASE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Stanley family we all remember from Snyder's highly successful The Headless Cupid (1971) gets a year in Italy when stepmother Molly's expatriate uncle leaves her money that has to be spent there. Molly's 13-year-old daughter Amanda, just a little better adjusted to the new family arrangement than she was in her poltergeist days, continues to brag about her rich father; and as a result all five children are kidnapped though the culprits had only bargained for Amanda. She is despondent, sure that her father won't bother to rescue her, and the others are fearful that he won't be able to come up with the million-dollar ransom. When they hear that he is in Italy but can't raise the million, David, the oldest Stanley, is really worried, but Amanda, with this evidence of her father's concern, comes to life. Much of the story takes place in the kids' basement prison, where seven-year-old, bilingual Janle (the family genius) interprets for the masked kidnappers, guesses their identity, and--with a view to being so cute their captors can't possibly kill them--gets up a hilarious performance with herself acting out Juliet's death scene and the four-year-old twins following with the Mickey Mouse Club song. For their part David and Amanda stage a miracle, which does have the kidnappers wondering; but in the end it's Janie who saves them all. A lively, likable family adventure, a bit slow to hit its stride and not as ingenious as The Headless Cupid, but still crackling with the Stanley family's distinctive charm and energy.
Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1979
ISBN: 0440424852
Page count: 228pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1979




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