Capture the Flag: A Book Review


I’m back from my quick break! :) It was just what I needed. Anyhoo, I have a lot of reviews coming up, starting with this fun middle grade mystery!

Capture the Flag by Kate Messner

Summary: Anna, José, and Henry are complete strangers with more in common than they realize. Snowed in together at a chaotic Washington D.C. airport, they encounter a mysterious tattooed man, a flamboyant politician, and a rambunctious poodle named for an ancient king. Even stranger, news stations everywhere have announced that the famous flag that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner” has been stolen! Anna, certain that the culprits must be snowed in too, recruits Henry and José to help catch the thieves and bring them to justice. But when accusations start flying, they soon realize there’s more than justice at stake. As the snow starts clearing, Anna, José, and Henry find themselves in a race against time (and the weather!) to prevent the loss of an American treasure.

{kindly taken from Goodreads}

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed Kate Messner’s Hide and Seek, so I was excited to find the first book, Capture the Flag, at my local library! Having read the series out-of-order, I already had the background knowledge of who was who, but I really liked learning more about them all. The author delivered a fun, enjoyable mystery, and I will be sure to keep up with the series as more books come out.

Anna, José, and Henry have no relationship whatsoever, except for the fact that their parents or relatives are in the Silver Jaguar Society, a secret group devoted to protecting priceless artifacts. So when the Star Spangled Banner goes missing, they feel like it is up to them to figure out who stole it. The only bad part? A huge snowstorm has them trapped in an airport! I really loved how realistic the characters were. Anna, José, and Henry all felt like true middle schoolers to me, and I think it makes it easier for the intended audience to connect with them. The adults were not my favorite, and I wished they were more present. I understand that having the adults away makes it easier for the kids to investigate, but I feel like they should have had a bigger role.

The mystery was thought-out, and despite being a tad predictable, makes for a good read. I loved the set-up and suspense of the beginning – it really hooked me in! As much as I loved the beginning, the ending kind of lost me. I skimmed through the last few chapters once I knew who the culprit was. Besides those ending cheaters, though, my interest held on! I particularly enjoyed the scenes when Anna got very excited over a new clue :)

Final thoughts? I’m glad I picked this one up because it provided more info for me as a reader. I will say that I enjoyed Hide and Seek more than this one, but not so much so to turn me away from the entire series. I’m excited for the release of Manhunt, coming out this spring!

Pros: Solid mystery and well-developed main characters.

Cons: Ending lost my interest.

Heads Up: Nothing!

Overall: I give it 3 1/2 stars {*** 1/2} and I recommend it for ages 9 and up.

You can read my review of the second book, Hide and Seek, in the series here.

Have a wonderful rest of your Monday!

5 thoughts on “Capture the Flag: A Book Review

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