Monday, April 27, 2009

First Clues Review: The Stowaway Solution by Gordon Korman

First Clues: Mysteries for Kids

is delighted to introduce a new feature for our website, book reviews written by students. These students offer their unique perspective on the book in their review and provide a valuable resource to parents looking for new mystery adventures for their kids to read.

The Stowaway Solution by Gordon Korman

The Stowaway Solution by Gordon Korman
The On the Run Series

Scholastic (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0-439-65139-5 (0439651395)
ISBN-13: 978-0-439-65139-4 (9780439651394)
Publication Date: October 2005
List Price: $4.99

Review written by Suman, Age 12, Grade 7. Date of review: April 2009.

Review: The Stowaway Solution is the fourth novel in Gordon Korman’s “On the Run” series. Once again, the reader is treated to 15-year-old Aiden and 11-year-old Meg’s narrow escapes and hair-raising adventures as they elude the law in order to assist their parents who have been imprisoned for alleged treason.

This novel centers on the siblings’ escaping from a police-infested L.A. in their attempt to make it to Denver where they believe they will find evidence to support their parents’ innocence. As all airports, train stations and bus stations are being closely monitored, Aiden and Meg hide in a car aboard a transport. They soon find themselves at the port where they stowaway in empty barrels which are loaded onto a freighter bound for Denver. Discovered by the crew, Aiden and Meg manage to escape on a life raft in the middle of a rampant storm. When Aiden is thrown overboard, he escapes brutal waves and frigid waters, and eventually washes ashore. He is taken to the hospital where FBI agent Emmanuel Harris is waiting to place him under arrest. Meanwhile, Meg paddles to safety aboard the raft, fakes an injury to gain access to the hospital, and frees her brother from the long arm of the law. Once again, the brother and sister team are “on the run.”

Korman continues to captivate his audience and keep them on the edge of their seats. Readers barely have time to catch their breath between enthralling action scenes. The plot is lightning-fast and it is easy to understand. Even though the siblings’ actions seem, at times, eccentric, Korman’s obviously well-researched details add credibility to these scenes. As well, thanks to Korman’s creativity, readers are able to think like the characters and feel their own pulses quicken in synchronicity with the fictional characters.

The only disappointment in this novel is the fact that no new evidence regarded to Aiden and Meg’s parents is revealed. Though the individual plot of this novel is excellent, it shows little effort to further elaborate on the grand scheme of the series other than give Aiden time to think about Agent Harris’s motives and wonder if perhaps there is a chance this arch-nemesis may be willing to help them after all. There are no exhilarating clues revealed, thus leaving this reader slightly frustrated.

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