On My Bookshelf: Taken by Edward Bloor

October 16, 2017

In Taken by Edward Bloor, as the divide between the rich and poor grows, cases of kidnapping also increase. The twists and turns in Charity's kidnapping will surprise you and you'll never suspect the true identify of her kidnappers. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.
The basic plot from Amazon: Charity Meyers has only 12 hours to live.

By 2035 the rich have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer, and kidnapping has become a major growth industry in the United States. The children of privilege live in secure, gated communities and are escorted to and from school by armed guards.

But the security around Charity Meyers has broken down. On New Year’s morning she wakes and finds herself alone, strapped to a stretcher, in an ambulance that’s not moving. If this were a normal kidnapping, Charity would be fine. But as the hours of her imprisonment tick by, Charity realizes there is nothing normal about what’s going on. No training could prepare her for what her kidnappers really want . . . and worse, for who they turn out to be.

Why I liked it: The author of Taken, Edward Bloor wrote one of my favorite middle grades novels, Tangerine, which weaves together sports, natural disaster/weather, disabilities, and racial tensions seamlessly, so I was excited to see what Taken would be like. The premise was intriguing and realistic; as the divide between the rich and poor grows, it is likely that cases of kidnapping will also increase. I had a harder time connecting with the characters in Taken and found their living and schooling situations to be ridiculous, though it is possible that is what the author intended.
In Taken by Edward Bloor, as the divide between the rich and poor grows, cases of kidnapping also increase. The twists and turns in Charity's kidnapping will surprise you and you'll never suspect the true identify of her kidnappers. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom application.

The twists and turns in Charity's kidnapping did surprise me and I never would have guessed the identity of her kidnappers, but the reason for the kidnapping and the events afterward seemed a bit of a stretch. 

What I found most interesting was not just the divide between the rich and the poor, but how the issues surrounding equal access to quality medical care, living conditions, education, etc. were magnified in the novel.


Classroom application: The novel would be appropriate for upper middle school and high school students. There are mild instances of violence, but as to be expected in a novel about kidnapping. Though the novel has a female narrator, because of the constant action, it would appeal to male and female students alike.

The novel would be a perfect lead in to research about the gap between the rich and the poor in America and how economic status impacts one's life. Students could also research how great this divide is in other countries and the measures taken worldwide to try to close the gap. It might also lead to a discussion or debate about the benefits of capitalism and socialism.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Taken for yourself, you can find it on Amazon here.

Note: The Literary Maven is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

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