Friday, June 22, 2012

Capture the Flag

Title: Capture the Flag
Author: Kate Messner 
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 240
Audience: Ages 8-12
Genre: Mystery/Adventure
Review Copy: ARC from publisher
Release Date: July 1, 2012

Description from Goodreads
Three kids get caught up in an adventure of historic proportions!

Anna, José, and Henry are complete strangers with more in common than they realize. Snowed in together at a chaotic Washington D.C. airport, they encounter a mysterious tattooed man, a flamboyant politician, and a rambunctious poodle named for an ancient king. Even stranger, news stations everywhere have announced that the famous flag that inspired "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been stolen! Anna, certain that the culprits must be snowed in too, recruits Henry and José to help catch the thieves and bring them to justice.

But when accusations start flying, they soon realize there's more than justice at stake. As the snow starts clearing, Anna, José, and Henry find themselves in a race against time (and the weather!) to prevent the loss of an American treasure.

Review: Within the first two chapters, a major crime has already been committed.  We know the how, but not the who. Throughout the story, some creative and intelligent children work to find the culprit. Anna, a budding young journalist, Henry, a serious gamer, and José, the Harry Potter expert, team up and provide plenty of humor and adventure for the reader. It is difficult to find engaging and sufficiently complicated mysteries at this reading level so this definitely fills a niche. Mid to upper elementary students will get a kick out of this one with a character named Senator Snickerbottom (made me giggle every time I saw it), art thieves, many great action scenes, and a tricky mystery to solve. Kate Messner has written another winner.

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