Missing Person ~ 911

The early morning call tells me there is a 12 year old boy lost in the woods!  As I jump out of bed, I think of the time when I received a similar message about my own son.  Will I be able to help some frantic parents with their fear and pain? Will our well-trained search and rescue teams be able to find this inexperienced child before it is too late?

This edge-of-four-seat story keeps the reader interested. It also helps in better understanding the selflessness of volunteers in the Search and Rescue field.  Based on a true story, this is guaranteed to leave the reader wanting more information about this unique program which trains teens to be responsible, caring and unselfish. 

 

Genre

adventure

Critic Evaluation

Cover Design Score: 6

The large font for the title definitely grabs my attention. Just by looking at it, you can get a sense of the urgency (from the exclamation mark in the title) and the picture allows you to start developing a picture of where the story is taking place. 

Book Blurb Score: 7

The blurb immediately tells you what the book is going to be about. Also nice to see a mention of the main character's personal life that may take affect on how she deals with the lost boy. 

Great to see a second blurb that lets the reader know that this is a true story and that it will give the reader more knowledge into Search and Rescue and how it works. 

Formatting Score: 9

Good length of paragraphs; makes it easy to read. Shorter chapters make it easier to finish and take a break in reading. Did notice that there were some spacing issues after a period. The amount of space was not always consistent. 

Grammar & Spelling Score: 8

Spelling and grammar were pretty solid. Did notice a few errors: 

-In chapter 5 -- "Questioned" should be "questions". 
-In chapter 10 -- The "Y" in "you" does not need to be capitalized because it is not the start of the sentence. 

One thing that did distract me, was how many exclamation marks were used. In the first paragraph alone there is four exclamation marks. While it does convey the urgency and excitement, I feel that with exclamation marks, less is more. Only use where absolutely needed. 

Loved the use of underlining in the sentence "Let this one be O.K" - it spoke volumes. 

Plot & Structure Score: 7

The plot is simple to understand. The structure is easy to follow. No cliffhangers; it might have been nice to end chapter 7 with the radio announcement stating that Jon had been found - creates a cliffhanger. Also, could end chapter 8 before it's revealed that Jon is alive and ok.

Nice to have Kate's tragedy with her son peppered throughout the story as opposed to learning about it all at once. Also nice to see that she finds some peace with it by the end of the story. 

At times it felt a little choppy while reading as opposed to a nice flow between sentences. 

Character Development Score: 6

Would have liked to have some information on what Kate looks like; no description of her is given so it makes it harder to picture her in the reader's mind. 

Learning about Kate's tragedy with her son helps us understand her better on an emotional level.

Originality Score: 8

I understand that this is a true story, however, I do feel that the "missing boy that's found" has been done a lot before; however, having more description of the Search and Rescue teams and how they contribute to locating the missing person puts a different aspect on it. 

Pacing Score: 8

Nice to start the story with news that takes the reader into the story right away; no waiting to know what happened, and to who. 

Moves slowly enough that we can understand what is happening, but doesn't linger where it doesn't need to. 

Use of Language Score: 9

Easy language used - great for readability. 

Some terms used that may only be known to those familiar with Search and Rescue; however, great to see appendixes at the end that delve into it more so that the reader can better understand what they read. 

Overall Readability Score: 7

Easy to read and understand, however, some paragraphs seem choppy and the dialogue comes across a bit forced and not so much natural. Perhaps just switching up some of the words used so it sounds more like a natural conversation. 

This book received a critic's score of 75 out of 100 possible points.

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Curator Evaluation

<p>McPhail's work draws readers in with a captivating search and rescue story before providing valuable information regarding outdoor safety. The narrative aspect of the work is well-crafted, compelling, and quick moving. Given the short and fast-moving plot, younger readers will be compelled to keep reading. The narrative enhances the educational aspects of the work, as the reader feels emotionally invested in the content. Overall, this is a good pick for young adult readers with interests in the outdoors.&nbsp;</p>

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