Warning!  Torn is the fourth book in Margaret Peterson Haddix’s The Missing series.  To have any hope of understanding this book, you need to read the first three:  Found, Sent, and Sabotaged.  (If you’re anything like me, though, even reading the first three books may not help much.  This series deals with time travel, a concept that totally messes with my head.)

It is rare for me to get through four books in a series and stop, knowing that more books are on the way…but I might have to make an exception in this case.  When I first read Found, I was totally intrigued.  It was like Lost for kids.  I became less impressed with the next two books, and, now that I’ve finished the fourth—Torn—I’m ready for this series to be done.  (And I know there’s at least one more book on the way.) 

I put off reading Torn for a while simply because I wasn’t a huge fan of Sent and Sabotaged, and I knew I would be in for more of the same in the fourth installment.  In this series, Haddix combines elements of historical fiction and time travel.  In essence, the series revolves around the missing children from history and the struggle to return them to their places and “fix time.”  We were introduced to this story line in Found; in Sent, we traveled to England in the time of Richard III; in Sabotaged, we journeyed to the lost Jamestown colony with Virginia Dare; and in Torn, we make our way to the icy waters around northernCanada with the notable explorer Henry Hudson.

Like the previous books, Jonah and Katherine are trying to fix time and get back home.  This time, Jonah must pretend to be John Hudson, Henry’s son, and Katherine has to become invisible.  After all, they’re aboard a ship filled with less-than-pleasant sailors, and a girl on the ship would be considered odd, to say the least.  As Jonah and Katherine struggle to make sense of things in 1611, they’re also trying to figure out why and how time is being manipulated in the first place.  Can they fix things in this time, rescue their friends stuck in 1600, and return home without making a total mess of things?  I’ll leave that for you to figure out when you read Torn by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

It should go without saying that I wasn’t a huge fan of this book.  I have issues with time travel, and I’m not one to read much historical fiction (despite my previous life as a social studies teacher).  I did, however, appreciate the lengthy author’s note which detailed how much of this book (a lot) was based on fact. 

If you like mysteries, time travel, and historical fiction, you might want to give The Missing series a try.  For more information on the series and author Margaret Peterson Haddix, visit

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