Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mysteries!

McClintock, Norah. Last Chance. Robyn (Robbie) is in the wrong place at the wrong time during a protest about using animals for testing, and ends up on the wrong side of the law. Since her mother is a lawyer and her father is a retired policeman, she manages to get time volunteering instead of fines or a record... but she has to volunteer at an animal shelter, and she's terrified of dogs after being attacked by one when young. She manages to fit in fairly well, and ends up doing a lot of paperwork, but she has a problem working with Nick, a juvenile delinquent who is in a group of such offenders who are working with dogs that are so maladjusted they can't be adopted until they are trained. She has had run ins with Nick before, and when money goes missing from the shelter, she assumes that either he or one of the other boys is responsible. Is her anger at her parents and her dislike of being in the shelter clouding her judgement of Nick? The first book in a trilogy.
Strengths: I've been looking for something for fans of Sorrel's Fake ID and Ferguson's The Christopher Killer, and although this doesn't have a murder in it, it has a sort of gritty feel to it that I think my students will enjoy.
Weaknesses: Robbie is not really very likable, and the plot is a bit predictable.


Grant, Katy. Hide and Seek.
Chase's mother and stepfather run a small
motel and bait shop in Arizona near the White Mountains. He's tired of having to help with it, so enjoys getting out on his bike to do some geocaching with his GPS. When he finds a note in one of the boxes, it leads him to Sam and Jack, who are living with their father in a tent in the wilderness and struggling to have enough food. The more he gets to know the boys, the more suspicious he becomes that something isn't right with their situation. He looks up a missing children site on the computer, and finds out that Sam and Jack have been abducted by their noncustodial father. After calling thie mother, Chase goes to check on the boys, since Sam has been ill, and is discovered by their father, who hits Chase with a shot gun and abducts him! After a harrowing experience, Chase manages to escape and tries to make his way back home with the help of his GPS. Can he make it in time to save the boys? Will he make it home at all?
Strengths: Really good outdoor adventure combined with a good kidnapping story. Both are highly requested in my library. Definitely will buy a copy!
Weaknesses: Chase doesn't tell his parents that he is helping these boys, and doesn't let them know when he runs off the last time, but this is addressed as something that is not a good idea!

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