Sunday, May 10, 2015

Book Review: Dangerous Deception

It is highly unusual for me to read four children's books in a row. I suppose I am only snatching minimal moments to read lately, and together with several children's audio books to accompany my daily walk, these type of titles have just proliferated lately. Regardless of the reason, I always enjoy a Peg Kehret book. She gets her characters into scrapes both believable and entertaining. The last Kehret book Sean and I read together was Ghost Dog Secrets. This book, Dangerous Deception, was similar in that the main character sees a social ill and wants to address the need, but doing so places them in danger.

Emmy Rushford is a compassionate girl. When she learns of another girl's plight of hunger, she convinces her classmates to provide food anonymously as a public service project for a school assignment. The other students help a few times to bring bags of food to the starving girl's family, but it is Emmy who sticks around for the long haul, long after the starving family has disappeared, leaving behind their cat, Midnight. As Emmy attempts to locate the family and tell them she has Midnight, she is caught up in a dangerous situation, abducted by a bad man, and placed in a position of grave danger. Emmy means well, but her deception leads to trouble.

This tale will go far to emphasize to children the danger of keeping things secret from adults who could help them. Deceiving her mother has life-threatening consequences for Emmy. The book emphasizes the value of compassion, the importance of honesty, the dangers of riding with someone who texts while driving, and the folly of attempting to manage grown-up issues without some grown-up intervention (especially when those issues lead you to bad neighborhoods and criminal behavior). All of these are important lessons for tweens to absorb.

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