Sabotaged by Margaret Peterson Haddix

January 16, 2011
More by this author
“’Andrea! Hold on!’ He reached over to put his free hand on top of her hand.” The cries of Jonah ring out as he, his sister, and a girl named Andrea are traveling through darkness on their way back in time. Andrea seems to misposition herself. “’Hold on–I’m scared the elucidator is going to fall off,’ she called” The elucidator, a key gadget to time travel, escapes from her grasp, leaving the three inexperienced time travelers speeding towards an unknown place and time. This scene shows the excitement and mystery in the book Sabotaged. Sabotaged, by Margaret Peterson Haddix, is a very interesting science fiction book that many people will enjoy reading.

Haddix uses her imagination to create this fantasy book that explores the fascinating topic of time travel. In the first book of the series, some people from the future steal kids from history for families in the future to adopt, but they crash landed. Thirteen years later, the missing kids from history find out and are being sent back one by one to fix time. Jonah is one of the missing kids from history, but in this book he is not going to his own time. He and his sister Katherine are trying to help a girl named Andrea successfully fix history. While the three kids are on their way back in time to the Roanoke Colony, they have a mishap and find themselves in the wrong time and place. They struggle to survive in the remote land while trying to preserve history. When they are on the beach, they rescue a man from drowning and discover that he is related to Virginia and their mission. To find out how this sabotaged mission ended up, you’ll have to read this novel.

Sabotaged is the third book in the series The Missing that explores time travel and the idea of going into the past. This book takes place in the Roanoke Colony around the year 1600. The three main characters, all with different personalities, land in a remote forest close to water. I really like the setting because it’s different from most other books. Another nice aspect of the book is that all of the characters are different but work together. Jonah is the main character and is around 13 years old. This quote that he repeats often: “Hey! I could have done that!” shows his personality because he gets jealous easily, always tries to show off and is a little dorky. Even so, Jonah is very loving to his sister and family. Katherine, Jonah’s younger sister, is a little bossy but also smart and caring. She knows how to deal with problems and people. Whenever Andrea, another missing kid from history, makes up her mind, she sticks to it and becomes very determined. She is also very loyal. Margaret Peterson Haddix uses these different, interesting characters to create the novel Sabotaged.

There are a few main themes in this book. One of the themes that is repeatedly hidden in the words throughout the book is that you should always be careful about who to trust because sometimes, it can lead to bad consequences. The mission that the three kids were on was sabotaged because one of them trusted someone without being careful. Katherine started being very careful of trusting the tracers, ghost like versions of what original time was like, and being cautious of everything they did even if it wasn’t necessary. Jonah was also being extra careful with anything suspicious.I think that this theme is important but there are other themes that might have been more interesting that I would have enjoyed more. If someone misuses your trust you might get into big trouble and regret it. Therefore, you should always be careful of who to trust.

There were many things that I liked about Sabotaged but also some things that I didn’t like very much. One positive is how the author put some mystery into the book and talked a lot about time travel, which is an unusual subject. Another thing that I enjoyed was the way Margaret Peterson Haddix describes things like the elucidator, a very complex, futuristic gadget, and theories of time travel. She makes all of them seem real. I believe that Sabotaged was meant for kids just a little younger then me and therefore, it is a little cheesy. Also, the author’s hints about things like peoples feelings are very obvious and take a little away from the book. Finally, the book didn’t hold my attention as much as some of her other books. I would recommend this book to people who like science fiction or fantasy books, especially kids in between ages 10 and 12.

In conclusion, Sabotaged is a great book for many readers despite a few faults. The excitement begins the moment Jonah, Katherine, and Andrea go to a different time with no way of contacting the future. I will admit that not everyone will like this book and it is not Haddix’s best book, but there are still many fans who will enjoy this novel. Both fact and fiction are mixed in to make this story complete. If you haven’t already, I advise you to read this exciting book that goes by the name of Sabotaged.

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