WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE FIRST IN THE SERIES AND PLAN TO DO SO. READING REVIEWS OR SUMMARIES OF ANY BOOKS PAST THE FIRST WILL RUIN THE SURPRISE IN THE FIRST BOOK.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, Genre: Fiction, Pages: 320, Reading Level: Easy
“Jonah thought that after his last adventure in 1903, he and his sister Katherine would have a break from time travel for a while. For the first time, he’s willing to look into his own identity in the past, and he thinks this is his chance.
But he barely has time for a single Google search before he, Katherine, and their friend Chip are tricked and zapped back to 1918- and to the house where the Romanov family was imprisoned after the Russian Revolution. Trapped without a fully working Elucidator, the three kids still hope they can escape and save the lives of Anastasia and Alexei Romanov.
But is it possible to change time that much when modern-day scientists have identified the entire Romanov family’s remains?”
I am a big fan of Margaret Peterson’s Haddix’s The Missing series. As soon as the big secret was revealed in book 1, I knew that Anastasia and Alexei would be among the missing children. I am a Russian major so I have been waiting for this installment and as with the others, I really enjoyed it. I’m not sure what about Risked ended up deserving only four stars rather than 5, but it was still a very good story.
In addition, book 6 will bring up more questions about time travel and changing history. Now the reader will consider whether history is set or possibly malleable to an extent. It’s interesting and since this is a Young Adult book, and not geared toward scientists, those discussions do not get technical. Mostly, Risked just plants the seed of thought and leaves it up to readers to take that thought further.
As I look for books and series of books to read to my ten year old daughter, I will be adding this one to the list. It has a little middle school romance in it; translation- a crush, a kiss or two, puppy eyes and a grossed out brother. The kids are the heroes. This is historical, speculative fiction. It is wonderful. And best of all, I think it attracts both girls and boys. No need to look for two separate series to accommodate both.
At the end of each book, Haddix includes a factual summary of what is known, so it is a great opportunity to discuss this with your children after the fact- this is what is known, this is what the book speculates, what other possibilities can you think of? This series is a perfect opportunity for and provides plenty of material to sustain many read aloud sessions.
If you want an intelligent, historically based story with a great opportunity to discuss historical events and mysteries, this is a great series and indeed the Romanovs, especially Anastasia, may be the most famous controversy of missing people in history. Even if you don’t have kids, this is a fun read.
Reviewed by Christina
September 28, 2013