Chase lives in the high country of Arizona with his family, where they rent cabins and run a convenience store both tourist-driven business that aren't doing very well. The family is considering a move back to Phoenix, where Chase 's father lives and there are better opportunities both for parents and children. Chase loves the high country and doesn t want to leave. In particular, he loves geocaching, a treasure hunting game involving a GPS. While on a geocaching expedition, he encounters two young brothers, camping in the wilderness with their father. Something's not right; that much he can tell. He's curious enough to return repeatedly, to figure out what's going on and how he can help. (goodreads)
Chase is a 14 year old boy who recently receives a GPS of his own as a birthday present and is eager to go on his first geocache find alone. He is looking forward to the tourist season ending at his family's cabins so he can adventure out with his faithful dog Dexter. When Chase finds his first cache, he comes upon a mysterious message from someone saying they are in need of food. He tries to connect with the individuals and eventually finds that the mysterious message writers are two young brothers camping in the woods with their dad. The two boys are mysterious in more ways than one. They don't like "snoops" or "cops" and Chase decides to take this adventure to the next level. He makes friends with the boys and also takes a few to many risks in doing so. He later learns they have been abducted by the dad and are on the run. Using problem solving skills and deductive reasoning, he eventually finds himself in a predicament. He choses not tell his parents and takes on a little too much for his age. He finds himself being kidnapped by the dad when he realizes that he has been found out.
I really enjoyed this book. It gives a good sense of family relationships and being responsible. The writing did a great job of introducing readers to the thrill of geocaching and the outdoors. We have been geocachers ourselves for about 7 years and I connected well with the details. I found that I was able to read it fast and it was not lacking in excitement. Any reader (boy or girl) who enjoys outdoor adventure and survivial stories could find this book worth reading. The plot keeps you going and has a beginning, middle and exciting end. One good discussion point - did Chase take on too much for his age and should he have had help from grown-ups in this situation? Learning about geocaching may spark some interest in the reader to want to try something new too with the family. I would recommend it for middle readers from grade 5-7. It does have a subject matter of parental abduction that may have young readers questioning.~
Title: Hide & Seek
Author: Katy Grant
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: August 2010, Peachtree Publishers
Hardcover, 230 pgs.