cover image The Spanish Kidnapping Disaster

The Spanish Kidnapping Disaster

Mary Downing Hahn / Author, James Cross Giblin / Editor Clario

Tagging along on her mother's honeymoon in Spain, Felicia knows there's no love lost between herself and her new stepsiblings, Amy and Phillip. But when Grace, an exotic and self-styled ``citizen of the world,'' kidnaps the three, their differences become far less important than escape and simple survival. As in Zilpha Snyder's The Famous Stanley Kidnapping , the European locale serves to emphasize each child's particular temperament. Phillip the know-it-all offers a passing fluency in Spanish, while headstrong Felicia leads them out of the trouble she has helped cause. The book bucks convention by presenting the abductors fairly: in showing the reader cold-eyed Orlando, weak Charles and the idealistic and appealing Grace, Hahn offers a surprisingly understanding look at what impels people to terrorist activity. While the resolution of the natural resentment among the stepchildren may verge on the facile, the story offers a lively adventure for middle-grade readers. Ages 9-12. (Mar.)