cover image Twice Taken

Twice Taken

Susan Beth Pfeffer. Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers, $14.95 (199pp) ISBN 978-0-385-32033-7

Dramatic turns of plot fuel the first third of Pfeffer's ( The Year Without Michael ; Family of Strangers ) charged novel; the remainder deals with the emotional fallout for the 16-year-old protagonist. Brooke Eastman is watching a TV show about missing persons when she recognizes her much-loved father's photo on the screen--and learns he had kidnapped her when she was five years old, taking her from her mother, his ex-wife. Without thinking about the consequences, Brooke--her real name is Amy Donovan--calls the TV show's 800 number, and is soon returned to the custody of her mother. Pfeffer, cleverly, turns none of the characters into villains; in fact, all are unusually sympathetic and remarkably decent. Although their self-control is almost unnatural at times and although the scenario itself is unlikely, the author maintains so brisk a pace and so appealingly plumbs her heroine's emotional life that the reader will want to believe in the story. Ages 12-up. (June)