Elizabeth Varadan | The Children’s Book Review | December 10, 2014
By Kate Messner
Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (June 24, 2014)
What to Expect: People who are not who they seem, a mystery to solve, thrills and danger centered around art, and the fun of what basically is a free trip to Paris.
The day after Henry Thorn’s Aunt Lucinda gets a mysterious phone call, she and other members of the Silver Jaguar Society whisk him and his friends, Anna and José, from Boston to Paris. The Silver Jaguar Society is sworn to guard art and artifacts of the world, but a series of international museum heists has broken out, and they’ve reason to believe the Louvre in Paris is next.
The Silver Jaguars suspect the Serpentine Princes, whose leader, Vincent Goosen, is out to get them: they were responsible for his son being in prison. Henry and his friends are hidden upstairs at Shakespeare & Company and told to stay inside. But three enterprising young sleuths can’t help being nosy, and hiding is boring. Soon the three kids and their new friend, Hem, are following clues of their own. By the book’s end, those sleuthing skills help rescue a valuable art piece (no spoilers here) and their parents, who are being held hostage by Goosen’s gang.
This was a fun read in so many ways. The action moves at a steady clip. Plot twists abound. Interesting localities in Paris are brought vividly to life without being intrusive. The author drops in references to classical literature as well as well as contemporary popular series, again, without being intrusive. My guess is that kids will read this book more than once and enjoy it at many levels.
“The man in the orange shirt stood up and wiped his sweaty red face with his sleeve. He scanned the crowd, his dark eyes tracing the sidewalk all around the pond. Henry knew those eyes.”
This book will appeal to middle grade readers who enjoy solving mysteries and who like learning about other countries as well as famous artists and pieces of art.
Add this book to your collection: Manhunt, by Kate Messner
About the Author
Kate Messner is the author of THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z., winner of the E.B. White Read Aloud Award for Older Readers; CAPTURE THE FLAG, an SCBWI Crystal Kite award winner; HIDE AND SEEK; SUGAR AND ICE; EYE OF THE STORM; SEA MONSTER’S FIRST DAY; OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW; and the Marty McGuire chapter book series. A former middle-school English teacher, Kate lives on Lake Champlain with her family and loves reading, walking in the woods, and traveling. Visit her online at www.katemessner.com.
Manhunt, by Kate Messner, was reviewed by Elizabeth Varadan. Elizabeth Varadan writes for children and adults. Discover more books by Kate Messner by following along with our articles tagged with Kate Messner Books.