Most writing classes say that a good story must capture the reader's interest in
the first ten pages. Levien manages to do it in under five. He pulls us in
quickly by creating a very likable twelve-year old, Jamie, and then immediately
placing him in harm's way. The suspense builds quickly as the scenes repeatedly
switch from Jamie on his morning paper route to the abductors in their car.
The foreshadowing builds and our worst fears are confirmed when Jamie's bike meets the grill of the car.
Levien's technique of multiple view-points and short tense scenes, which one might
attribute to his screen-writing expertise, heighten the on-going suspense and parallel the
urgency of a missing child situation.
He gives us a story that offers more than a fast-moving crime plot. It is also a tale of
losses - the loss of a child, the loss of innocence, the...
Beyond the Book
The AMBER Alert Program
Alert Program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies,
broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, to activate an
urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of an AMBER
Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for
and the safe recovery of the child.
Named for 9-year-old Amber Hagerman who was abducted and
murdered in Arlington, Texas in 1996, it is also an acronym for "America's
Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response".
In 2001, only
two children were recovered due to AMBER Alert. In 2006, 69 children were
recovered because of an AMBER Alert. To date, the program has helped save the