Author Tom Mitchell returns with a new comedy adventure. Previously I reviewed HOW TO ROB A BANK. His newest entry, THAT TIME I GOT KIDNAPPED, hangs on to the same threads of boy likes girl and big time trouble with the police. Other than that it’s a new story with new characters.

Loaded with laugh out loud moments and crazy, far-fetched plot twists, I wouldn’t recommend this to a brand new MG reader. Jacob, the main character, is 14 and his “kidnapper” Jessica may or may not be 17. The romance is very light, but there are a few swear words thrown in by both kids and adults. Nothing R-rated but I’d still consider this to be an upper MG title for 12 and up.

British lad, Jacob, narrates the story and the author once again nails the teen voice. Jacob has won a contest to appear in a Hollywood movie. His parents put him on a plane and off he goes alone to a foreign country—the good old USA. His plane lands in Chicago in the middle of a snowstorm. Jacob misses his connection and from their the craziness begins. He takes a bus to L.A. but gets involved with Jennifer, a runaway who is carrying a mysterious package. A mean looking cowboy is after them, but really only wants whatever is in the package. One bad decision after another spreads their lawlessness westward into Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada.

Will Jacob make it in time to be in the movie? And what is obnoxious Jennifer really up to? No spoilers here, but THAT TIME I GOT KIDNAPPED is fine way to escape from the more serious titles hitting the shelves recently. Be prepared to shake your head and giggle as you make your way through the 43 chapters.



The differences between American and British English are a focal point throughout. Both teens are hilariously confused by some of the words they hear from each other.

If you have ever traveled to any of the places they visit, you’ll be commenting “Oh, I remember seeing that!” Makes for some memorable moments.

Jacob’s heart is in the right place, but he may be grounded for life if he ever makes it back home. A fascinating look at the teen brain as it reasons out each decision.

Even the Cowboy has a nice character arc. We see a different side of him by the end.

A princess suitcase, clowns, and Spiderman! How’s that for combination of plot elements?

Author Tom Mitchell has spent part of his Pandemic time making writing videos with his son. Here’s a recent one on TOP TIPS FOR WRITING GREAT DIALOG:


I received an ARC for my honest review. Be sure to comment below!

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Natalie Aguirre says:

    You got me with the title. This sounds both good and funny. I will definitely check it out. Thanks!

  2. Completely Full Bookshelf says:

    This sounds like an entertaining and original book! I’m already curious about the mysterious package. Thanks for the great review!

  3. Maybe I should read this. It sound like fun and I could use a laugh out loud right about now. Thanks for the review and for today’s MMGM.

  4. Yes, what a great title that grabs teens. And, the cover conveys some humor too. We need to laugh, so this novel sounds like a really good summer escape. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Danielle Hammelef says:

    I just went to Goodreads and Amazon to add it to my wishlist. I listened to the audio sample and this book will be a fun one to read.

  6. Sue Kooky says:

    I love books that include travelling across the US to places I’ve been! The book sounds so funny and engaging too. Sounds like a great read!

  7. That title grabbed my attention and so did the line “A princess suitcase, clowns, and Spiderman!” Sounds like a real winner. A funny mystery is hard to accomplish. I am intrigued. Thanks for telling mea bout this one.

  8. Jenni says:

    This sounds amazing! I’m all for reading more light and funny books right now. I especially like the fact that it pokes fun at Brit/American misunderstandings. Will definitely be adding this to my list!

  9. Thanks for sharing this humorous book with us for MMGM, Greg. I particularly like the cover art. :0}

  10. Sounds like a fun-filled book. I love the idea of incorporating differences between British English and American English!

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