Tuesday, November 24, 2009

M#4 Kristy and the Missing Child

It's the end of another Krushers practice, and Kristy is getting ready to walk home with David Michael and loverboy Bart. She's surprised when Jake Kuhn tells her that he has permission to walk home by himself that day (his mom is at the dentist with Patsy and Laurel), but doesn't think much of it. She doesn't think much of it, that is, until Mrs. Kuhn calls her that evening and lets her know that Jake never got home. No one's worried at first; Mrs. Kuhn just assumes that Jake went to a friend's house. Both Mrs. Kuhn and Kristy make some phone calls, but no one's seen Jake. Mrs. Kuhn still isn't all that worried; instead, she's angry. She thinks that her ex husband probably took him. The divorce is fairly recent, and the kids have been missing their dad a lot.

Even though Mrs. Kuhn is convinced that her ex is responsible, no one else is quite as sure. Mr. Kuhn was very well-liked, the divorce was relatively friendly, and it seems kind of farfetched to think that he'd kidnap his own son. Kristy knows that they need to consider the possibility that Jake might be hurt somewhere, so she mobilizes a huge search effort. She also feels a little responsible for what happened, since she was the last one to see Jake before he went missing. She just wants to find him, safe and sound.

Day #1 of Kristy's search doesn't turn up anything. She has Matt Braddock in her search group, and he knows all sorts of secret places that Jake might be. Too bad he isn't actually in any of them. Kristy starts to feel a little hopeless; the police are still pursuing the Mr. Kuhn theory, and they think he might be in Mexico. It just doesn't seem like all the searching and looking is worth it if Jake might be thousands of miles away. The next day, though, Kristy wakes up with renewed determination to NOT give up on Jake, wherever he is. She goes out searching with the Braddocks again, and just as they're about to head home, Matt remembers one more place that might be worth checking. There's a contruction site where Jake liked to go and get scrap lumber, and where some houses are being built. Kristy doesn't want to go there; it's not on the way home from the softball field, and she thinks it would be a waste of time. Matt insists, and they go. Kristy calls for Jake, like she's done everywhere they've searched, and to her surprise, she hears him calling back! He'd come to the contruction site after the softball game to check out the action, and had fallen through a hole in the floor of one of the houses. Bart runs for help, and Jake is happily reunited with his family.

The subplot (if you can call it that) involved Mary Anne's difficulties with her home ec class. Whatever.

Rating: 3

Thoughts and Things
  • This book didn't need a subplot at all, and Mary Anne's struggles with sewing and Jello seemed really out of place, considering what was going on in the rest of the book. If Ellen Miles/AMM felt like they needed a subplot, they could have just focused a little more on the fears of some of the other kids re: kidnappers.
  • It should be very obvious to anyone who's read this blog with any regularity that I always associate the books with food. In this one, it's Peanut Butter Cups. I don't even like those all that much, but I always want one after reading about that store owner giving Kristy and her search party free ones.
  • One of Mary Anne's home ec mistakes was sewing the skirt she was making to the one was she was wearing. Believe it or not, my mom totally did that in high school.
  • Jello Jigglers...those sound kind of gross now, but I loved them when I was younger.
  • Bart wears bleached out jeans to the SMS awards ceremony at the end of the book. I'm sure that looked....interesting.


  1. I haven't read this one. But based on your description, Jake's mom seemed.....awfully calm. God, my own kid ran and hid in a clothes rack at Macy's one day last year and I was a fucking basket case for the thirty seconds it took to find him.

  2. Yeah, Mrs. Kuhn's reaction was pretty surprising. She was worried, but she never seemed to spend much time considering the fact that Jake might have been kidnapped/killed by a stranger. If I were a parent, and my kid went missing, that would be my first thought!

  3. Mrs. Kuhn WAS shockingly calm. She is so the BSC's Patsy Ramsey.

  4. LOL Sadako! @ Nikki- when I was about 11 or so, my sister and my cousin were missing from Filene's ( yes that is now Macy's) and we all FLIPPED OUT- we found them in about 10 minutes in an elevator- they kept wanting to go up and down in an elevator- but yeah my first thought was OMG they were kidnapped and they aren't even my own kids!

  5. Totally agree that MA's subplot was out of place. It was, for a subplot, interesting, but needed to be in a different book.

  6. When I blogged about this ep, I said I thought it was kind of awesome that MA was more into her home ec grade than lil Jake. Which is how I felt--I mean, it's not like Jake is a well known character. Get back to me when Jackie or Jamie disappear.