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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Rescuing Seneca Crane (A Kari + Lucas Mystery)* by Susan Runholt- young readers book review
Also by Susan Runholt:

The Mystery of the Third Lucretia (Kari + Lucas Mystery)
Rescuing Seneca Crane (A Kari + Lucas Mystery)
by Susan Runholt
Ages 10+ 288 pages Viking August 2009 Hardcover    

We all like a little excitement from time to time, but teen best friends Kari and Lucas (sheís a girl) had enough of that when they debuted in Susan Runholtís novel The Mystery of the Third Lucretia. Now they are only interested in meeting some cute guys and exploring Scotland as they travel with Kariís reporter mom, who is doing a story about teenage piano prodigy Seneca Crane.

It would seem that Senecaís fame and fortune make for a terrific life, but Kari and Lucas soon learn that isnít the case. With her strict practice schedule, a private tutor, and every moment of her life determined by her mother and stepfather, Seneca barely knows how to be a normal girl. She actually considers going out for a hamburger to be a thrilling event!

All three girls share intelligence, kindheartedness and a joie de vivre, so itís natural that a bond would grow quickly. Kari and Lucas canít help but feel sorry for Seneca because of her isolation; it cheers them to hear that Seneca is planning to put an end to her professional touring for a while in order to enjoy a normal life.

Before she can carry out her plan, however, Seneca Crane is kidnapped. Even though they were determined never to get involved in another adventure like the Third Lucretia, Kari and Lucas have no choice. The ransom note makes it plain that calling in the authorities will mean certain death for Seneca.

Her parents swear the girls to secrecy, but Kari and Lucas stumble across information about the kidnapping that proves Seneca is in more danger than anyone realizes. The trouble, as always, is that no one listens to young people, and in this case, the most compelling evidence comes from someone even younger than Kari and Lucas. These heroines recognize their own limitations, but they arenít going to let anything Ė not even cut-throat criminals - stop them from rescuing Seneca.

Once again, Susan Runholt pulls off a sharply written tale that draws readers in from the very first page. Just as in her previous book about Kari and Lucas, in Rescuing Seneca Crane we view the events through Kariís eyes and her personable voice.

Every move in this deftly written novel is spot on, with the teens tackling every challenge realistically and competently. The dialog and emotions ring true in every scene, and best of all, Runholt shows respect for her characters as well as her readers. The Kari and Lucas series is firmly established with this second outing and looks to have a long, successful run ahead of it.
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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  Deborah Adams/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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