Fourteen-year-old Amy had just completed a babysitting course, but as Peg Kehret wrote in the first paragraph of Stolen Children, "it did not cover what to do if two thugs with a gun showed up. She had to figure that out by herself."
As you can tell from the title, Amy and her 3-year-old charge Kendra were kidnapped. They were taken to a remote one-room cabin with no electricity or plumbing and very little food. Amy did her best to keep Kendra distracted from their plight while trying to figure out how to sneak clues onto the daily videotapes the kidnappers took to send to Kendra's parents.
The kidnappers were new at this endeavor and what little plans they had made fell through before they even began. Amy knew that they had only intended to kidnap Kendra and had no use for Amy. Since she was old enough to recognize them, Amy was sure they planned to kill her before they returned Kendra, even if the ransom was paid. And even though it was obvious that the kidnappers were none too bright, there was still the threat of that gun, and a knife, too.
This story plot is a lot like another book I read a long time ago, Prisoners at the Kitchen Table by Barbara Holland. That title is no longer in print, or in the public library system. Has anybody else out there read it?
One way this one is different is that it tells the story from the point of view of various people. Most of it is through Amy's eyes, but parts of it are through her best friend Jorja who works on figuring out Amy's hints on the videos and what they might mean. We also see things from the point of view of other minor characters who might be able to help the girls get rescued.
It was hard to stop reading this book until I got all 165 pages finished. I HAD to know what was going to happen to Amy and Kendra!