Thursday, August 20, 2020

Book Review: That Time I Got Kidnapped

I feel like now that summer is basically winding down, everything is catching up to me all at once and now I realize what a dang slacker I've been all summer. 

I mean, I haven't really been slacking but it isn't like I've been productive and getting loads done, either. What I have done was read books, and this was one of them. It's a great Middle Grade (MG) book that I think pretty much any kid will like. 

That Time I Got Kidnapped - Tom Mitchell

Fourteen-year-old Jacob is thrilled when he wins the chance to feature in the next Marvel movie, shooting in Hollywood. But after missing his connecting flight in Chicago, he tries to complete the journey by Greyhound bus – and there he meets Jennifer.

Jennifer is an American teenager on the run with a mysterious package she’s guarding with her life – and an enigmatic figure known only as ‘the Cowboy’ is hot on her heels . . .

Jacob soon finds himself on the road-trip of a lifetime as Jennifer’s unwitting partner in crime. Will he make it to LA in time – and in one piece? A funny, filmic, page-turning adventure, ideal for readers aged 11+.

If you know me at all you know that I attract strange people from all walks of life at all times. It doesn't matter if I'm at work, in my yard, at Target, in the middle of the woods, I will be approached by a strange person. Its an absolute given. Naturally, when I saw this title I knew I absolutely HAD to read this because the running joke is I'm going to end up in the trunk of someone's car someday. I shouldn't joke but its a legit concern. 

Thankfully, that's not what happens to our main character, Jacob. He is obsessed with super heroes and when he gets the chance of a lifetime to be in a movie, even the tiniest part, his parents eagerly put his 11 year old self onto a plane from Europe all of the way to Chicago (to catch his connection in LA, its absolutely crucial he must not meet his flight). Well we know from the back of the book he clearly misses his flight (and would you believe it was Nicholas Cage's fault?) and the entire book is him trying to get to LA to be in this movie. 

What happens is literally a series of unfortunate events and as a mom I felt myself screaming at him what he SHOULD be doing, but to his 11 year old mind this is all completely logical. I have a 12 year old son and he kind of reminds me a little of Jacob and I'm trying to picture him on this journey and yikes. It's also a little like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles in a way. He gets on a bus, he ends up meeting a girl who is being hunted down by some guy but she kind of is like Jacob and a bit.... unprepared for the real world? While all of this is kind of fun for him, he also knows his parents are probably out of their mind with worry so it puts a bit of damper on his little adventure. 

The book is funny and I can see kids absolutely loving this. If you are stuck in quarantine and want to beef up their oral reading skills at home before school starts, this would be a fun read-aloud, even in a classroom setting. I think every child can find something great in this book and I really appreciated that versatility. It can be tricky to meet that mark but the author definitely does this. The author definitely knows his target audience and really plays to that. 

A huge thank you to Harper 360 for a review copy of That Time I Got Kidnapped, I really think if you have a child even in the 9 year old range they could appreciate this one but even as an adult I thought this was really good. 

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Shooting Stars Mag said...

I'm trying to read more MG books. There are so many good ones these days. This definitely sounds fun, so I'm glad you liked it! It's awesome you feel like most kids would find SOMETHING they enjoyed about the book - always a plus!


Unknown said...

Great review! Thank you for sharing! :-)