Kelly Hager's Reviews > Capture the Flag

Capture the Flag by Kate Messner
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Jun 30, 12

Read from June 29 to 30, 2012

I heard about this book at the awesome party that Scholastic threw at BEA, and I'm so glad I did! Middlegrade books are largely off my radar (unless an author I already love decides to write one), and so I would have missed this otherwise. And that would have been incredibly sad.

Kate Messner said that part of her research for this book involved calling a museum to see exactly how one would go about stealing something from an exhibit. I would have really liked to have seen the person who answered that call. :) But I think it also sounds really fun, trying to brainstorm exactly how you'd steal, say, Dorothy's ruby slippers or (in this case) a priceless artifact from our history.

This is an absolutely adorable book, one that centers around a heist. Someone (or, more accurately, a group of people) have stolen the flag, the actual Star Spangled Banner that inspired the writing of our national anthem. No one seems to know what to do, and three kids (Anna, Henry and Jose---but really mostly Anna) decide that they're going to figure out who stole the flag and get it back.

It wasn't exactly a surprise when the culprit was revealed, but it was still an incredibly enjoyable read. I think middlegrade readers would absolutely love this book, especially if they're interested in history (or based in DC or Baltimore, where we just celebrated the bicentennial of the War of 1812, which is when the anthem was written).

I'm also going to look for more of Kate Messner's novels. I really like her writing style. This book is definitely intended for children but it's also enjoyable for adults. That's very rare.

Recommended.
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