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Book Detail

Chasing the Falconers

Chasing the Falconers Author Gordon Korman
Publisher Scholastic, Inc.
ISBN 0439651360
Publication Year 2005
Reading Level 4.9
Main Character Age 11
Main Character is Human
Summary (Publisher"s Summary)
Aidan and Meg Falconer are their parents' only hope. The Falconers are facing life in prison unless Aidan and Meg can follow a trail of clues to prove their innocence. The problem? Right now they're trapped in a juvenile detention center.

Subject Matter Summaries

Summary Details For Positive Elements:

This book is the story of two kids, Aiden and Meg Falconer. Their parents are in prison and Aiden and Meg are fugitives trying to prove their parents' innocence. They must work together to overcome dangerous situations in order to even survive. p.80 "Miguel grabbed her arm and propped her back into balance." "It had an electrified third rail. Had Meg touched it, she would have been seriously injured or even killed." p.117 "Aiden would not have believed he'd ever be capable of such sympathy toward the bully who had once made a career of tormenting him. Yet he recognized Miguel's despair almost instantly." "The best he could hope for was to show the boy he wasn't completely alone." p.153 "As long as there was a place to start, a lead to follow, a stone left unturned in the quest to prove their parents' innocence, then there was hope."

Summary Details For Mature Subject Matter:

DEATH p.107 There is a reference to how Miguel's stepfather was killed. RELIGION p.30, 36, 79 "This is what we've been praying for..." CRISIS Crisis is the overwhelming theme of this book. Aiden and Meg Falconer's parents are in prison, and Aiden and Meg are fugitives trying to prove their parents’ innocence. p.9-10 This page describes the day Aiden and Meg's parents were arrested. p.12 This page describes the day Aiden and Meg's parents were found guilty and sentenced. p.115-116 Miguel is abandoned by his brother. p.135 "Oh, God, was there really a time like this? A time before trials, and prisons, and foster homes, and the Department of Juvenile Corrections? Were we ever really this happy?"

Summary Details For Profanity/Language:

DEGRADING COMMENTS Wuss p.3 Dumb p.4 Idiot p.23, 113 Fatso p.34 Fool p.37 Lamebrain p.45 Stupid p.54, 58, 99 Wimp p.69 Losers p.69 Sucker p.73 Ugly p.85 Jerk p.87, 107 Punk p.104 Lowlifes p.110 Wackos p.147 MILD OBSCENITIES Cursing (no actual curse words) p.104, 122, 130 DEROGATORY TERMS Hicks p.132 "Hicks," he muttered. "They never lock anything." RELIGIOUS EXCLAMATIONS God p.30, 34, 135 "God, Meg looked tired."

Summary Details For Sexual Content:

There is no sexual content in the book.

Summary Details For Violence/Illegal Activity:

FANTASY VIOLENCE p.16 "Suddenly there was nothing more important than taking the antenna and ramming it down Miguel's throat." MISDEMEANOR In this book, Aiden and Meg Falconer are fugitives trying to prove their parent's innocence. Throughout the book, they do commit misdemeanor crimes along the way in order to survive. p.33, 39, 42, 70, 91-92, 99, 101 All of these pages deal with Meg and Aiden stealing for survival. They steal clothes, bicycles, food, candy from a machine, and gas. p.88, 138 References are made to Miguel stealing or looking for things to steal. p.118 There is underage driving. MILD VIOLENCE Due to being fugitives, Aiden and Meg Falconer are exposed to many violent situations and confrontations throughout the book. p.4 Aiden is taunted and hit in the head with a sack of feed. p.13 Reference is made to threatening and fighting that occurs at the juvenile detention facility. p.14 Miguel is smacked in the head by a peer. p.16 There is a description of a fight between Aiden and Miguel. p.17 Aiden is threatened by Miguel. "When you least expect it, this is the face that's going to be coming up behind you." p.68 Meg kicks Miguel in the head. p.104 Aiden is beat up by two adults. p.105 Meg hits Miguel while he is driving. p.115 Miguel is threatened by his brother. "I swear, Miguel-you go over there, and I'll beat your lousy head in." FRIGHTENING SCENES p.20-21 A fire occurs in a barn. p.25-27 Aiden and Meg are trapped by a fire. p.35 Aiden and Meg are chased by a large dog. p.54-55 Aiden and Meg are chased by a man in a truck. p.56, 60-63 Aiden and Meg are hunted down by a helicopter and are trapped on a train bridge. p.68 Aiden and Meg encounter another intruder in an empty train station. p.76-77 Aiden, Meg, and Miguel are surrounded by police. p.85-86 Meg is threatened physically by Miguel. "...grabbing a fistful of T-shirt and pushing her hard against the refrigerator. She felt the scissor blade pressing on the skin of her neck." p.96 Aiden, Meg, and Miguel are confronted by a police roadblock and attempt escape. p.101-102 Aiden is caught stealing gas and is left behind by Miguel. p.123-126 Aiden, Meg, and Miguel are found by the police and chased. p.138-141 Aiden, Meg, and Miguel are found by an unknown intruder and Miguel is attacked. VIOLENCE p.68 Aiden and Meg are physically attacked in an empty train station. p.86 Meg is physically attacked by Miguel and has scissors held to her neck. p.107 Reference is made to Miguel being physically abused by his step-father and Miguel accidentally shoving him down the stairs resulting in his stepfather's death. p.112 Reference is made to the incident of scissors being held to Meg's throat. p.116 Reference is made to an incident where someone was hit in the head with a spade resulting in a gash and sixty stitches. p.138-14 An intruder attempts to kill Miguel by grabbing him by the throat; a gun is fired and Miguel is shot; the intruder is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head from Aiden. p.146 A person is accidentally hit by a car and thrown from the hood. p.147 Miguel is shot. p.151 There is a description of Miguel's gunshot wound. FELONY p.4, 16, 85, 87, 91, 110, 115, 143, 150-151 References are made to murder (attempted murder of Aiden and Meg and/or wanting them dead; references to manslaughter, murder, etc.) "Somebody wants you dead. Both of you." p.6 Reference is made to Meg and Aiden's parents’ crime of treason. p.13, 91, 99, 133, 138 References are made to gangs, thieves, crimes, stealing, fencing, and pawning. p.15 Arson is mentioned. p.84 Aiden, Meg, and Miguel break into an empty house. p.93 Reference is made to Miguel having stolen cars. p.94 Aiden, Meg, and Miguel steal an SUV. p.115 Parole is mentioned. p.144 A gun is mentioned. p.149 Aiden and Meg steal an ATV.

Summary Details For Tobacco/Alcohol/Drugs:

TOBACCO p.24 There is a reference to girls smoking.

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Summary Details For Disrespectful/Anti-Social Elements:

LYING WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES Although the actual incidents of lying in this book are brief, it is a premise for the entire book. Aiden and Meg Falconer must lie about their identity in order to survive. None of the lying is done with malice or with the intent to hurt anyone. p.51 Meg lies about who they are and where they are going. p.89 Meg lies to a police officer. p.121 Meg lies to a hotel manager. DISRESPECT p.6 Meg is disrespectful to a supervisor at the detention facility. "That's funny, Ray. You're quick enough to catch us talking. But someone using a sack of feed as a deadly weapon-you missed that, didn't you?" p.108 Miguel is disrespectful when speaking of his mother. " old lady..." p.147 Miguel is disrespectful to the police and FBI. VERBAL BULLYING p.5 Aiden and Meg are taunted by an authority figure. p.15-16 Aiden is taunted by his peers. p.70 Meg and Aiden are taunted by Miguel. p.76 Aiden is taunted by Miguel.