Kristine's Reviews > Sent

Sent by Margaret Peterson Haddix
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Dec 22, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: ages-9-to-12, good-for-boys, historical, novel, science-fiction
Read from May 23 to 27, 2012

Without offering time for even a breath, Sent dumps readers right along with the time-traveling quad directly into 15th century England. More specifically, the Tower of London on the night Richard III is often supposed to have murdered his nephews. This leaves Jonah, Katherine, Chip, and Alex (the latter two it turns out are Edward and Richard after being snatched from time) to work out saving their lives while exploring history firsthand.

I really adored the first book in this series, but when I originally picked it up this isn't what I was expecting from the rest of the novels. To start with the good, Haddix does a great job making the 15th century come alive for readers in an interesting and age-appropriate way. Jonah's asides in italics are funny and give the book a genuine feel of realism amidst the unfamiliar backdrop. The four characters are well-drawn, each with his/her distinct personality. Haddix also did a good job handling the religious aspects necessary to the setting, not praising or bashing one view over another.

However, even as an adult there were parts of this story that were just plain confusing. What exactly were they doing back in time? I have to admit to a good eight months going by between books, so I don't remember the end of Sent as well as I would have liked. But there should have been something more in this one to make the purpose clear. Also, while it is a good history introduction for both boys and girls, there were parts that really dragged. Definitely something for more mature readers who can handle the length and intricate descriptions.

The concept of the series is still great, and I'm looking forward to picking up the next book. Though it's set 200 years later, this is a far superior introduction to early England than Catherine Called Birdy. Some parents may be concerned about the "boyfriend/girlfriend" aspects between 12- and 13-year-olds, though it's a very minor plot point. There is some violent content in the attempted murder of the princes and a battle at the end, though nothing is given in graphic detail.
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