Book three of the Missing series finds heroes 13-year-old Jonah and his sister Katherine traveling through time to rescue Virginia Dare of the Roanoke colony. Immediately, however, the children discover that their mission has been sabotaged. They lose their communication device, and they don't know when in time they've landed. Suspense builds when Jonah and Katherine realize that time appears to be disturbed, perhaps endangering all of history. Worse, a new character, who may not have the safety of the children in mind, takes charge. Andrea, the real Virginia Dare, insists that she doesn't care if things are going wrong. She wants to find her grandfather, colony governor John White, who traveled to Roanoke to try to rescue his family in 1590 only to find the colony deserted and the colonists vanished. Haddix concentrates more on the action, suspense and mystery in this book with, thankfully, less emphasis on childish tantrums than in previous installments. The plot is internally consistent, too, enhancing both pace and readers' enjoyment. Best of the series so far. (Science fiction. 8-12)Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Gr 5-9--This volume picks up immediately where book two left off, with Jonah, Katherine, and Andrea going to the time period when Andrea was kidnapped. She is Virginia Dare, the first English child to be born in the ill-fated Roanoke Colony. During their time journey, the Elucidator is lost, and the children arrive not certain as to where or when they are. Jonah pieces together that Andrea deliberately lost the Elucidator, and she admits she was following the directive of a mystery man who promised that she could stop her 21st-century parents from dying in a car crash if she did what he said. Unsure of what they've been sent back to do, the children decide to try to find the inhabitants of the colony. Along the way they save the life of Andrea's 16th-century grandfather, and she feels more and more that she is supposed to stay with him. Familiarity with the first two books is a must, and even then, this story is somewhat confusing. The integration of background material is not consistently clear, so unless readers have studied the history of the Roanoke Colony, they may not understand what is going on. This plodding novel is plot driven; there is little character development and there are no new hints as to Jonah's historical identity. Readers are told that the group will next go into the 17th century, but they may not have the patience to follow.--Cheri Dobbs, Detroit Country Day Middle School, Beverly Hills, MI[Page 88]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.