Saturday, July 20, 2019


Griffin, Paul. Skyjacked
July 30th 2019 by Scholastic Press
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Six students from an elite private school are returning home after a camping trip on the private plane belonging to Cassie's father's business. The regular pilot is ill, so there is a substitute, and not long into the journey, the teens realize the plane is heading west instead of east. They have a security person, Reeva, with them, and she is not overly concerned. At the same time, we see Michelle Okolo at work as an intern at the National Air Traffic Investigation Center. She took the job because her father was killed when a storm popped up and his plane wasn't alerted, so the job is personal to her. Things start to go badly very quickly on the plane-- Cassie suffers a bad allergic reaction, and it's soon clear that she has been poisoned. Was it the replacement pilot? Reeva? One of her friends? When the plane goes offline, NATIC is brought in, and Michelle starts investigating the social media feeds and background of the people on board, trying to figure out who is responsible. Things go from bad to worse, there are more deaths on board, and it looks like no one will survive. Will Michelle be able to make a difference this time?
Strengths: Aside from Moss' Girl on a Plane, I can't think of too many books that deal with highjackings. It's one of those topics, like murder, that enthralls middle grade readers. The suspense, the mystery, the life-and-death feel of the entire adventure are all good things.
Weaknesses: Something made it hard to connect with this story. It has sort of a 1970s, Harry Mazer feel to it. Maybe there were too many characters, and the suspense was broken when the chapters switched over to Michelle? Can't quite put my finger on why this wasn't a slam dunk.
What I really think: I should have liked this more and just... didn't.
Ms. Yingling

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