Found, by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Found, by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Simon and Schuster, 314pp, middle grade and up), is the first book in her new series, The Missing. The next book comes out in the spring of 2009.

In the night a plane appears out of nowhere, and sits on a dark airport runway. There's no pilot on board, only thirty six crying babies....The plane disappeared back into the night, its story was buried in the FBI files, and the children were parceled out for adoption. 13 years pass. Then the anonymous letters begin to arrive, and thirteen year old Jonah, whose always known he was adopted, has his world shaken to the core. He, his sister Katherine, and Chip (also thirteen, also adopted), are flung into a frightening mystery.
"Beware," [Jonah] quoted. "They're coming back to get you. That's what the letter said. That's who they were warning us about!"

He looked around fanatically. What if the man tried again, sometime when no one was around to protect them?

Katherine shook her head, her ponytail flipping back and forth.

"Really," she said disgustedly,"if the cute janitor wanted to warn you, he should have provided a few more details. Names, dates-something you could go to the police with."

"The police would never believe this," Chip groaned. "I don't even believe it!"

I enjoyed the first 250 pages very much. But then Haddix throws all heck at the reader, with a maelstrom of bad/good ? guys and overwhelming explanations of what's happened. Exciting, sure, but not so graceful. Haddix has a lot to pack in, so as to prepare the reader for the next book, and it felt a bit forced and rushed to me, especially compared to the preceding pages.

Now that I'm prepared, though, I'll definitely be looking for the next book!

Here are some other reviews, at The Reading Zone (check out the comments, which clearly show its appeal to young readers), at Becky's Book Reviews, at Jen Robinson's Book Page, and Fuse Number 8, but be careful! There are spoilers! (it's from a few weeks ago, so it includes even more links to other reviews)

The Found has been nominated for the Cybils. Here's my list of the other books nominated in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category.

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