Friday, September 20, 2013


In Capture the Flag, the flag is the historic “Star Spangled Banner” flag, and it is captured from the modern Smithsonian after a re-dedication ceremony by person or persons unknown.  Seventh graders Anna, Henry, and Jose were at the ceremony last night, because each of their parents was involved in the event.  They really didn’t meet until this morning, trapped at the airport by a record breaking blizzard and fighting over electrical outlets to save batteries on their various devices.  They hear the breaking news that the flag is missing, and a little later hear that Jose’s mother is a prime suspect. 

The rest of the story takes place in the airport, during the blizzard. Budding journalist Anna; game freak Henry; and Harry Potter fanatic Jose pool their talents and differences to discover clues that suggest the thief/thieves may be trapped in the airport, too.  Along the way to solving the crime and freeing Jose’s mom, the trio is harassed by a presidential candidate, spied on by a suspicious serpent-tattooed food manager, chased at knife-point through the baggage area, and corralled by airport security.  

In true National Treasure tradition, there is humor, danger, and a secret society or two to keep the plot twisting and the pages turning.  It isn’t until the planes are ready to roll that author Kate Messner finally lets her junior detectives re-capture the flag. Young readers, their parents and maybe even a film producer or two will like this book.

For readers in 4-7grades. 

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