Capture the Flag by Kate Messner

In YA Book Reviews on July 7, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Capture the Flag by Kate Messner

Genre: Mystery/fiction

Publisher’s Blurb:

A stolen flag, a secret society, and three complete strangers . . . Anna, José, and Henry have never met, but they have more in common than they realize. Snowed in together at a chaotic Washington, DC, 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 just 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 find the thieves and bring them to justice. But when accusations start flying, they soon realize there’s even more than a national treasure at stake. With unexpected enemies lurking around every corner, will the trio solve the heist before the flag is lost forever?

My thoughts:

As far as mystery stories go, it was fairly boring and predictable. The thieves are pretty obvious, but younger readers might fall for the red herring. I expected Capture the Flag to contain some history, which it does, but I didn’t expect (and was pleasantly surprised by themes and topics (government, election process, dirty politics, idioms, and such) that lends itself to discussion and research. There are some fun set pieces where the kids crawl around the baggage area, but I don’t think there’s much in in this book to interest older readers. It’s a good, timely read for young readers but too simple for a crossover audience of more sophisticated readers.

Recommended for Fifth/Sixth graders

My Rating; 3/5 Stars

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