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That Time I got Kidnapped

That Time I Got Kidnapped

Published: 2 Apr 2020

Paperback / softback, 320 pages

Recommended for age 11+

By Tom Mitchell

Published by HarperCollins Publishers

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A hilarious, action-packed road-trip adventure from the author of HOW TO ROB A BANK, ideal for readers aged 11 and up.

Reviewed by Sophie Ainscough

That Time I Got Kidnapped is the road-trip of a lifetime! A children’s Bonnie and Clyde seems a fitting description for this fast-paced adventure. Jacob our main character is on his way to America to film a scene in a superhero movie when he finds himself drawn in by the mysterious Jennifer and what follows blossoms into an unlikely friendship.
As a reader, you go on the journey through Jacob’s eyes and question along with him why Jennifer is on the run and what exactly is in the package she won’t let out of her sight?

Jacob instinctively feels protective of Jennifer despite believing she’s a few years older. He wants to protect her from the mysterious Cowboy who pops up throughout intent on taking Jennifer home. The unlikely duo finds themselves thrown into bizarre situations such as being stowaways on a zombie bus and disguising themselves as clowns. Their mission remains the same throughout – get to LA. Jennifer wants to find her Dad and Jacobs wants to get to Hollywood for his on-screen debut.
The story is littered with will they won’t they moments which adds to the suspense.

This is the first book I’ve read by Tom Mitchell and I have to admit after reading the blurb I was sceptical about whether I would enjoy it. I’m pleased to say I did! I had empathy for the main characters and willed them to succeed.

This book would work best as a teacher read-aloud for children in years 5 to 8. I would also recommend it as an addition to school libraries as an alternative to more well-known action and adventure novels. There are opportunities for moral discussions as Jacob and Jennifer’s decisions are analysed. Cultural differences between the UK and USA can also be explored.

I would thoroughly recommend That Time I Got Kidnapped to teachers and children alike. Reading this has made me keen to try Tom Mitchell’s first novel. As they say, you really can’t judge a book by its cover!

I’m a primary school teacher with 10 years experience across both key stages. I’ve always had a passion for reading since a young age and I aim to inspire the classes I teach to share that passion.
In my spare time I like to dabble in creative writing and have a couple of novel ideas in the works.