Day 22) V is for Vanished: Choose a book with a missing person
Five Were Missing (originally published as Ransom) by Lois Duncan
So I have just discovered that Lois Duncan past away in June of this year. I would like to dedicate this post to her amazing style and storytelling.
So as I have said before, I love libraries:
I have always thought the library was the best place to be:
I used to just roam the stacks looking for the next thing to read and become emotionally invested in.
One day as I was looking, I found this book Ransom by Lois Duncan. I had never heard of Duncan before and had never read her books, so boy was I in for a surprise.
She has written all kinds of novels but is most known for her teenage suspense books. She is an amazing writer in how she crafts her characters. Just fantastic.
After this I read Killing Mr. Griffen, and there are the rest of her books I am planning on reading and haven’t gotten to yet.
Another reason why this book is so perfect to review is not only do I give you not one but FIVE missing people, and this year marks the book’s 50th anniversary!
The day started off normal for the group of kids taking the bus from school to their neighborhoods. So as the bus takes the children to all their destinations, the driver makes a lot of mistakes.
Bruce Kirtland offers to help the new bus driver, directing him to every stop.
After that five kids remain, all headed for the housing development called Valley Gardens, the “rich” part of town. Even with Bruce, the new bus driver passes right by. He goes way past it and then heads off to pick up “a friend.”
His friend turns out to be the muscle.
And they are being kidnapped.
Yes these five will have to work together to figure a way out of this.
First we have Marianne Paget. Her father and mother divorced a few years ago, leaving her mother with nothing but the house. Her mother remarried, a boring newspaper writer, Rod Donovan, who is nothing like her father. Rod actually tried to pick her up from school, but she defiantly refused. The only bright spot in being kidnapped is that her mother will have to call her father to ask for money. This might cause them to be reunited, the Paget family again! That is, if she survives. But tough little Marianne will learn some family secrets during this trial.
Glenn Kirtland was taking the bus because his car was at the shop being worked on. If he had had it, him and Marianne would have been out of there. He’s not that upset about being kidnapped or the money; but the fact that he superjock and most popular guy is being kidnapped, like a wimp or loser. Glenn is set on getting out of there, no matter what, even though his parents have enough money.
Bruce Kirtland, Glenn’s little brother, is a freshman and in most eyes; a “nobody”. He doesn’t care as he loves his brother and doesn’t mind being in his shadow. He pulls his strength from Glenn, but before this over he will learn a lot about his brother and himself.
Jesse French is an army brat and has been all over the world. She has grown up mostly home-schooled and spending a lot of time by herself. Her mother wants her to have a normal life and friends, so they rent a house in Valley Gardens. Her mother is disappointed as nothing seems to have changed with Jesse. But now Jesse will have to draw on all her inner strength, army training, to get through this ordeal. Especially as her family has no money to pay a ransom.
Dexter Barton is from New York and also a recent transplant to the area. Having suffered from polio as a child, he cannot use his right side as well, the most trouble being in his arm. He fell in love with a girl, but when he overheard her cruel words about his body, it created a chip on his shoulder as he isolates himself from everyone. When his parents die in an accident, he is sent to live with his uncle in New Mexico, residing in Valley Gardens. His uncle is rich, but never around, something that doesn’t bother Dexter as he prefers being alone. But now, with his uncle being unreachable, how will he get out of here?
Will these kids make it out okay? Or will this be their last bus ride?
Just fantastic! I loved it so much that when I came across an old copy I bought it instantly and read it thoroughly. I highly recommend that you all read it and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451
For the previous post, go to People Have to Snatch at Happiness When They Can in This World. It is Always Easier to Lose Than to Find: O Pioneers!
For more on kidnapping, go to But the Book, It Will Never Close…: Along Came a Spider (2001)
As we are talking about kidnapping and trying to get away, what better song than Run, Rudolph, Run also known as Run, Run, Rudolph.
This song was written by Johnny Marks, the one who wrote Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Marvin Brodie. It was sung by Chuck Berry in 1958 and was #69 in the top 100 of 1958 and peaking on #36 on the UK list of 1963.
It has been in ton of Christmas films, like my favorites Home Alone:
And Jingle All the Way:
A great and fun, fast paced, rockin’ song.
For more on Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, go to I Hate Those Kinds of People
For more Christmas carols, go to Le Fantôme de l’Opéra