HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Missing Since Monday
Author: Ann M. Martin
Publisher: Scholastic, reissued in 1994
ISBN-13: 978-0812458435 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0812458435 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0590431361 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0590431366 (Paperback)
Language level: 3
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Martin, Ann M. Missing Since Monday (published in 1986 by Holiday House Inc., 18 E. 53rd St., New York City, NY 10022; republished in 1994 by Scholastic Inc., 730 Broadway, New York City, NY 10003). Maggie Ellis, a sophomore in high school, lives with her father Owen, a children’s book editor; stepmother Leigh, a children’s book illustrator; older brother Mike, a high school senior; and four year old half sister Courtenay Louise, known as Courtie, in Princeton, NJ. Maggie and Mike’s mother took off when Maggie was seven, and Owen married Leigh when Maggie was eleven. The last five years with a stepmother have not been easy for Maggie. Mr. and Mrs. Ellis go on a long-delayed honeymoon to St. Barthelemy in the Caribbean and leave Maggie and Mike in charge of Courtie.
One Monday morning, Maggie sees Courtie off on the bus to her private preschool, and the little girl gets off the bus but never makes it into the school. Everyone assumes that Courtie has been kidnapped. Several suspects come to mind. There is Leigh’s first husband, Jack Tierno, who is upset that Leigh had a child with Owen when she couldn’t have one with him. Also, there is Maggie and Mike’s mom, Jessica, who is rather unstable and had a lot more deep, dark secrets than what their dad had told them. And there is that creepy Brad de Christopher, the older brother of their friends Andrew and Jane, who seems to be sweet on Maggie and jealous of her boyfriend David Jacobssen. Then Maggie starts getting mysterious phone calls and is followed by a strange green car. Who took Courtie? Will she ever be found? And what will happen to Maggie?
Ann Martin is a popular author for youth, best known for her “Baby-sitters Club” series for younger readers. Missing Since Monday is her second novel that deals with real crises and her first for older readers. Basically, it is a good, gripping story from a secular viewpoint. When the Jacobssens tell Maggie that Courtney is in their prayers, her reaction is to be embarrassed because the Ellises are not a religious family. In addition to a few common euphemisms, there is, sadly, a little cursing and profanity. Some parents may not care for all the typical public school “boy-girl” emphasis on teens dating, going steady, kissing, and, of course, attending the Prom. However, there is the benefit of calling attention to the plight of kidnapped children and talking about preparatory steps that can be taken to help avoid such problems. The book was a Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award Nominee in 1991. Young teens should appreciate the suspense.