Book Review: Stolen Children by Peg Kehret
Amy, a 14 year old girl, is asked to be a nanny for a day to a wealthy family with a sweet 3 year old daughter. What starts off as a dream job turns into a nightmare as she and her babysitting charge are kidnapped. The kidnappers videotape the girls and send the DVD’s to the girls’ parents to torment them before they ask for ransom.
Amy remembers the lessons from her father that she can always make any situation better and that she should never give up. She decides to leave clues in the videos to help her family and the police find her. She manages to outsmart her kidnappers and get away in spite of the odds being stacked against her.
One important parallel in this book is the difference in the choices people make. Amy and her kidnapper both lost their father at 10 years old. The kidnapper uses this as an excuse to be a criminal while Amy chooses to honor his memory by living the lessons he taught her. She strives every day to make him proud. Amy ends up a hero and the kidnapper ends up in prison.
The message in this book is that your choices are what influence the outcome of your life, circumstances do not control you. I think this is an important concept for everyone, children and adults alike. Once you realize you have control of your own life nothing can stop you from realizing your dreams. It’s so important for every child to be empowered to determine their life’s direction.
I would highly recommend this book although it may be scary for some children and there is mention of a gun. It is recommended for children in grades 5 to 8 but I thought it was a fairly easy read. I think the content is what makes it more appropriate for older children, not how challenging the writing is.