“Capture the Flag” by Kate Messner

The Plot In Five Sentences Or Less:  Anna, José, and Henry are three young strangers who find themselves snowed in together at a Washington D.C. airport.  As they begin to get to know each other, an important news flash is broadcast: the Star Spangled Banner has been stolen from the Smithsonian Institute.  The three realize that all of their parents are members of the Silver Jaguar Society, which has the mission to protect the most valuable treasures of the world.  Unfortunately, most of their parents are unavailable to help and the kids soon discover clues that lead them to believe that the Star Spangled Banner may be at the airport.  Can the kids figure out who stole the flag and bring them to justice?

My Take:  I felt that this book had a good premise in that one of the nation’s most valuable treasures has been stolen and only a group of kids can track down the thief.  However, as the novel progressed, it began to feel a little redundant to me.  Messner chose to have all of the action take place in an airport.  This was a good choice for “Die Hard 2,” but not perhaps for this book.  After the third or fourth scene in the baggage terminal, I was getting a little distracted.  Still, it is a mystery to recommend to grades 3+

One Interesting Thing About the Author:  According to her website, Kate Messner lives on Lake Champlain and enjoys kayaking.

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