Torn (The Missing, Book 4) by Margaret Peterson Haddix


Reviewed by Teri Davis

Time travelers need to respect continuity and to realize that by changing one small thing, everything in the past, present, and future can and must change.

Jonah and Katherine find themselves on Henry Hudson’s ship, Discovery, in the year 1611 just as the crew is ready to mutiny. This historic event places Hudson in a small ship along with his son and a few who are near to death. The doomed boat is never to be heard from again. Jonah quickly discovers that he is to take the place of John Hudson, the son on the boat. Will history repeat itself? Life on the ship, Discovery in the early 1600s life was not easy with the crew low on food, a tired and irritated crew and a captain wanting to extend their exploration into finding the Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean. Hudson and many other explorers were certain that there had to be a waterway to the other side of the American continent. Logically with the new land explorations and the number of newly discovered waterways, there had to be rivers, streams, and creeks that were unexplored and one could actually reach to the Pacific.

Torn is a gripping tale of life and death on the Discovery weaving logic into past history based on real events that were never completely concluded. Taking what is already known of Henry Hudson and creating a character true to the historical documents of the time, Haddix’s approach of filling-in the missing information was well-organized in a wonderful science fiction historical mystery.

Torn is the fourth novel in Haddix’s Missing series following Found, Sent and Sabotaged. Even with being a part of a series, Torn can easily be understood without having read the previous books. Each of the novels in this series centers around a historical event that has elements that are not well-known such as the Roanoke settlement and in this particular novel, the disappearance of Henry Hudson. Since this was published further books in this series are now available. Caught focusing on Albert Einstein’s daughter and Risked is about the Russian Revolution have been.

Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many middle-grade and teen novels, all of which quickly become the favorite of these tween readers. Her stories are always appropriate for all audiences within gripping tales enjoyed by young and old and all her books are page-turners that cannot be put down. Her series of the Shadow Children is both chilling but realistic science fiction for younger readers.

Torn is a fascinating story teaching history through science fiction.

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