Margaret Peterson Haddix

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Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known he was adopted. Sometimes other people get weird about it, but it's no big deal to him. He is Jonah Skidmore and he has no particular interest in his origins or birthparents. It's no big deal, that is, until he receives the letter in the plain white envelope - a typed letter with only six words: "You are one of the missing." Even then he just accepts the letter as a prank until his friend Chip receives an identical letter. This is pretty weird; stupid, in fact, because Chip isn't even adopted, at least that's what Chip thought.

Then the second letters arrive: "Beware! They're coming back to get you." At this point, Jonah's sister Katherine, and his friend Chip really start to make a big deal out of the letters, but Jonah still refuses to be drawn into their anxiety . . . until the encounter with the men at the FBI. Very strange that James Reardon's name should suddenly appear in Jonah's adoption file, and stranger still that instead of setting everyone's mind at ease, Mr. Reardon tosses about such phrases as "levels of secrecy" and "matters of national security." [p. 79] When Jonah's parents protest his refusal to give them any information, Mr. Reardon says, "You might want to consider your actions very, very carefully. Sometimes there are . . . repercussions. I think your son's documentation is in order but perhaps if we were forced to revisit his case, we might discover some unfortunate discrepancies." [p. 86]

Is this a threat? Most certainly it is, and it won't be the last threat they receive in Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Booktalk by Joan Smith

Discussion questions

Spoiler alert! Some of the questions contain key elements of the plot. Do not read if you don't want to know what happens!

  1. Was the conclusion of this mystery satisfying to you? Did it seem believable?
  2. Jonah decides to keep the letters secret from his parents. Katherine thinks he should tell their parents. What would you choose?
  3. Jonah's parents and Chip's parents made two very different choices about what to tell their children about their adoptions. Which do you think was the better choice? Why might Chip's parents have made the choice not to tell him?
  4. Jonah, Katherine, and Chip work together to solve the mystery. What are each character's strengths and weaknesses in the team?
  5. What are the rules for time travel in this story? How do those rules affect what happens in the story?
  6. Would how we live today be different if any one person's life were changed in any way? Can you think of a person or event in your past that would have changed how the future turned out?
  7. Katherine tells Jonah that he's going through a phase asking "Who am I?" not because he's adopted, but because everyone goes through that. Do you feel like this? Do you worry about how other people define you? Do you care?
  8. Talk about the events in the cave. Did you expect them? Did they make sense to you?
  9. Make predictions about what might happen in the sequel.

If you liked this book, try

  • Sent (The Missing, Book 2) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  • The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  • Flip by David Lubar
  • Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson
  • The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
  • The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones