Jennifer the Jerk Is Missing

Carol Gorman, Author, Gorman, Author Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing $15 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-86578-8
Thirteen-year-old Amy is forced to baby-sit the son of her father's most important client for an entire weekend, and Malcolm, her eight-year-old charge, is none too pleased about the arrangement either. His caustic remarks and propensity for inventing outrageous stories signal trouble ahead. It's no surprise, then, that Amy has a hard time believing Malcolm when he insists that a a classmate (the eponymous Jennifer) is in the process of being kidnapped. The drawn-out plot next focuses on Malcolm's efforts to convince Amy of the veracity of his tale. A highly improbable chase follows, with Malcolm driving a moped on a highway and the two sleuths discovering an obnoxious Jennifer and the limousine driver, held captive by perps with a knack for corny dialogue. (``Don't smack me, Frank. You always used to smack me when we were kids, and Mom never told you to cut it out. But I'm telling you now to cut it out.'') The credibility factor of this mystery is stretched too far and too often, and although Malcolm and Amy are a likable enough detective team and although their dialogue has moments of humor, these elements are not enough to compensate. Ages 9-13. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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