Book Review: Vanishing Act, by John Feinstein

This book review is part of series of reviews written by students at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School for their 7th grade English classes.

vanishing_act_coverI would have never thought that one of the top seeds in the U.S. Open of tennis would be kidnapped just minutes before her first round match, but in the book Vanishing Act, the unheard of scenario became a reality. Nadia Symanova was kidnapped before her first round match, and kid sleuth’s Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson are up for the mystery.

The perspective of Stevie was interesting because his thoughts and feelings came to life. Stevie is a youth journalist who attends popular sports events such as the final four which was his last stop. He is a social boy who is a knowledgeable sports fanatic. He mostly enjoys golf, and can never stay away from his IM account, which he mostly uses to talk to his crush, Susan Carol. “He needed a shower, but as usual, he checked his IM first” (8).

Susan Carol, Stevie’s partner in crime, is a kind and energetic youth journalist, as is Stevie, who is very passionate about sports. Her uncle Brendan Gibson is an agent of one of the rising stars in tennis Evelyn Rubin, but is Brendan working with other tennis players behind Evelyn’s back… You will just have to pick up the book and see.Bobby Kelleher, Stevie and Susan Carol’s journalist friend from their last stop at the Final Four is at the tournament. Bobby gets into all of the players lounges and locker rooms, and that might be very helpful after the crime.

I believe that “the sky is the limit” is the major theme of this book because, Stevie and Susan Carol are both 13 and they are nationally identified as two of the greatest youth sports journalists in America. They worked hard on something they enjoyed and it led them to fame.

Even though this book was a fictitious sports mystery I believe there was a moral. The moral being if you want to do or finish something, put your mind to it and make the dream a reality.

Even for those who do not enjoy tennis, this book is a mysterious nail biter. It isn’t a book you can put down without finishing it.

John Feinstein is a sports writer and commentator and has written many fictitious sports mysteries. He incorporates some of the books he has written in the Vanishing Act, which is an unusual writing tactic.

I give this book 5 stars, there were no flaws and everything in my opinion was perfectly explained throughout the book. The resolution really surprised me, and If I were you I would pick up this book right now, find a comfortable chair, and dig into this unbelievable book!

-Peter G., 7th grade

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