Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

About the author:
Maragaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle-grade novels, including the Shadow Children Series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for the Indianapolis News. She also taught at Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio.

About the book:
Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known that he was adopted, and he’s never thought it was any big deal. Then he and a new friend, Chip, who’s also adopted, begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, “You are one of the missing.” The second one says, “Beware! They’re coming back to get you.”
            Johan, Chip and Jonah’s sister, Katherine, are plunged into a mystery that involves the FBI, a vast smuggling operation, an airplane that appeared out of nowhere—and people who seem to appear and disappear at will. The kids discover they are caught in a battle between two opposing forces that want very different things for Johan and Chip’s lives. Do Jonah and Chip have any choice in the matter? And what should they choose when both alternatives are horrifying?
            With Found, Margaret Peterson Haddix begins a new series that promises to be every bit as suspenseful as her Shadow Children series—which has sold more than 41/2 million copies—and proves her, once again, to be a master of the page turner.

Discussion guide:

  1. Describe the opening scene. Why do you think Haddix decided to start her story here. As you read, make predictions about what you think will happen next.
  2. If you received those letters what  would you do? To whom would you show them? Would you, like Jonah, keep them from your parents? Why or why not?
  3. What does Chip learn about himself? Do you think a kid has the right to know whether or not they are adopted? Why or why not? Defend your answer. Do you think you would want to know about your birth parents or would be content as Jonah seems to be?
  4. Katherine tells Johan, “…If you’re going through some adolescent ‘Who am I?’ phase, it’s not because you’re adopted. Everyone goes through that. I don’t know who I am either.” (p. 54) Do you feel like this? Do you wonder how others will define you? Do you care?
  5. How do Chip and Jonah rule out the letters being a simple prank? Would this be a good prank or not? What are the qualities of an excellent prank?
  6. Jonah and his parents feel threatened by their meeting with James Reardon at the FBI. How would your parents react? How would you? Would you keep looking for answers even though deportation could happen?
  7. What odd events happen at the FBI? Would you have believed Katherine about the disappearing man? Would you have had enough guts to open the file and snap a picture like Katherine did? What do they discover?
  8. Create a list of questions you would want to ask the witnesses or survivors if you were Jonah or Chip. Katherine says, “…but when you’re not talking, sometimes you notice things more.” (p. 113) What does Katherine notice about Mr. Reardon? Now you try it. What do you notice that you might’ve missed?
  9. What do the kids learn from Angela DuPre at the library? Do you agree with her theory about the babies? How hard would it be for you to believe her?
  10.  When the kids are sorted at the adoption conference what does Katherine decide to do? Would you have made the same decision? Who are the other kids? How do you think Jonah and Katherine’s parents will react?
  11. Explain what happens inside the cave. Is this what you expected from your predictions or were you surprised? Can you figure out who is actually good and who is evil? Why is it so confusing to Jonah and the others? Is it always easy to tell in real life or not?
  12.  Explain the problems of paradox, ripple and age reversal. Which one would scare you the most?  How difficult do you think these issues make for a novelist as well?
  13. Who are the babies? Why were they left on the plane? Whose side do you actually believe? Why? How would you feel if you were Jonah and Chip? Do you think Katherine wishes she stayed behind?
  14. Who do you think Jonah is in history? Do you like to read series books? Why?
  15. How does the novel end? Was it satisfying? What do you think will happen next in the series? What questions does Haddix leave in your mind for the next book?

Extension Projects:

Language Arts:

Write a letter to Jonah’s parents about the most important aspects of the mystery and what they learned. Reveal everything that you think may help them discover where Jonah, Chip and Katherine have gone.

Design a set for the movie version of the novel. You can use photographs, collage or any other art form that you please just be sure to include a paragraph about your choices for color, lighting and other design elements.

Create a playlist of music that should accompany the soundtrack of the movie. Explain your choices.

Additional Resources:

Official website of Margaret Peterson Haddix:

An interview and other resources:

Another interview: