Ransom Written by Lois Duncan
Setting: The story takes place in New Mexico
Time: The story occurs during the winter.
Characters: Buck is one of the three people who are kidnapping the children. He is tempered easily. He doesn’t really care for others much. Rita is Buck’s wife. She is not very pretty and gets drug into schemes by Buck. She feels he will leave her if she doesn’t follow directions. Juan is the other kidnapper who does more of the dirty work. He is the one who calls the parents for the money. He’s the one who shot the bus driver. Glenn is one of the boys who were kidnapped. He’s very popular and has friends and thinks that nobody dislikes him. He’s handsome and very athletic. Glenn’s brother Bruce is into more technology stuff. He is not very handsome and looks up to his brother a lot. He is physically challenged because his body is underdeveloped. Dexter doesn’t have a mother or father. He lives with his bachelor uncle who’s always away on business trips. He is liked fairly well. He is happy with his life. Jesse is new to everyone. She moves around the world quite a lot. She’s very mature compared to the others. Marianne has two brothers. Her parents are divorced and her mother remarried another man. She thinks that her real dad still loves her and will rescue her and doesn’t care much for her new father.
Conflict: The group’s main problem is that they are being held ransom and they don’t know whether they’ll ever be rescued. The group is concerned that their parents won’t be able to get the whole amount of money so they are faced with the fact of having to runaway in order to escape their kidnappers.
Plot: The kids are getting on the bus to go home after another ordinary day at high school. They noticed they had a substitute bus driver. He missed a couple of stops so Bruce volunteered to show him the way. When only the five kids who live on Valley Gardens are left, the bus driver drives past their subdivision without stopping. The kids complain and he tells them to shut up. The bus pulls off to the side of the road next to a waiting car. He orders them to get off the bus and into the car. By this time the kids realized they were being kidnapped. A woman is in the car, whose name is Rita. She drives them to a cabin about two hours away. When they arrive, the kids are fed stew. The boys were sent...
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...ased the brakes until coming to a complete stop. Juan and Glenn, knowing where they were going, went to the door leaving the dad alone to get the money. Upon entering the cabin, Juan asked him for the money. He replied quickly that first he needs to see his daughter. The children came out. There was a sudden movement by Glenn which attracted the attention on him long enough for Marianne’s father to pull out the pistol. He pistol whipped Juan and held the gun towards Rita. Rita suddenly started screaming in Spanish asking where Buck was. They told her he was dead and ordered her to put her hands above her head. He handed the gun to Glenn motioning him to stay here and watch the two as he went for the cops and took the others.
Evaluation: I thought the book was very exciting and suspenseful like her other books. The book had very good detail and an interesting plot. I liked the twist when Juan and the girl’s father came upon Glenn walking down the road. I also liked how the author described the action in great detail. It made me feel like I was right there seeing it all happen firsthand. I don’t think that the author could’ve made this book any better than she did already.