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Book details
  • SubGenre:Action & Adventure / Survival Stories
  • Age Range (years):9 - 12
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Richie and Keeta
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:92
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543936285

The Missing Year

by Jack R. Peterson

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After a storm in the South Atlantic Ocean, Richie who is 10, is washed up on an island where the natives have no knowledge of the outside world. Richie is stuck there with no way to return to America where he lived with his family. During his year on the island, he is enveloped in the life of a family who think Richie is their own son who was "taken" by the sea a year earlier. Befriended by a young girl who is also about 10, their adventures with monster snakes, lizards, killer bees, quicksand, and men who are after Richie for the reward, keep this wonderful story fast paced and exciting.
Richie's family is invited to Panama to join his uncle in the launch of his yacht toward the South Atlantic Ocean. On the final day, far out to sea a storm hits and Richie is washed away from the boat. The family has to sail back to Panama without recovering Richie and they set up a large reward for anyone who can help find him. Richie washes up on shore of an island where the natives are unaware of the outside world. They think the sea has given them back a young boy because the sea took one of their young boys a year earlier. Richie is adopted by that family and quickly learns their language. He becomes close friends with a young girl named Keeta. Keeta and Richie build their relationship during the many adventures they experience. Men who come on ships to trade with the natives see Richie and recognize him from the posters in the port they just left. As they try to kidnap him in order to collect the large reward, they are led on a chase around the mountainous terrain by Richie and Keeta. In this adventure they have to survive monster snakes, lizards, killer bees, quicksand, and a bear. In the end Richie is reunited with his parents but after a year on the island, Richie feels like he belongs there as much as he does in Wichita, Kansas where he resumes his schooling. In this first book, Richie builds a relationship with the island people and in the next book of the Richie and Keeta Series by Jack R. Peterson, Richie will find a way to go back.
About the author
Jack R. Peterson grew up attending Caldwell Elementary School, Curtis Junior High and South East High School in Wichita, Kansas from 1950 – 1963. With fond memories of the neighborhood and his friends, Jack used this setting as part of his book The Missing Year. Jack, "Richy" spent lots of time in the principal's office visiting with the principal. He did not know why he was always in the office, but it was probably because he could not stop talking in the classroom. Leaving Wichita in 1966, Jack R. Peterson joined the navy where he continued his education, developed his life experiences and found he enjoyed stories. He loved to tell stories and others loved listening. After retiring, Peterson discovered writing. His first book, Five Hours of Butterflies, was about his experiences in the Viet Nam War. Currently he is writing stories about a young boy lost at sea. The Missing Year is the first book, but the main character, Richie, will be back in a second book soon. Peterson, who lives in Olathe, Kansas, is available to visit schools and talk about his books as well as addressing historical issues. His favorite is to talk about where the National Anthem came from. Schools or teachers can contact him at pawpawp2@gmail.com.