Torn by Margaret Peterson Haddix Book Review

Torn  is book four in Margaret Peterson Haddix’s The Missing series. Previously, I’d only read her Among The Hidden books. I have not read the previous three books in The Missing series which will definitely affect my review, just a heads up guys. The premise of the series, from what I gather, is that people can travel through time. Katherine and Josh, siblings, have been charged with the task of setting mistakes other time travelers have made and changes to rights. The twist to The Missing is that it follows real life children whom the conclusion of their story is a mystery (i.e. Virginia Dare, John Hudson).

Torn, Margaret Peterson Haddix, Book Cover, row boat


In Torn, Jonah and Katherine are sent back to 1611 on Henry Hudson’s ship, The Discovery, right before the mutiny. Jonah must take on the role of John Hudson to fix time. Ultimately, Jonah only lives one day as John Hudson, but it’s a day of twists, turns, and betrayals. Katherine is turned invisible because there were no girls on that ship.

I’m conflicted on Torn. While the premise is fantastic, I can’t help but find myself continually confused which may be attributed to not reading the previous books. I would say for the most part Torn is not really as self-contained as I would have wanted it to be.

The good of Torn by Margaret Peterson Haddix is that it brings what most students consider to be a boring part of history to life. And I say boring because I remember in school some teachers would take interesting thinks like the explorers and RUIN it but making it the most tedious thing ever. Reading about crazy old Henry Hudson who is convinced about the Northwest Passage is riveting and I love when a book does that for my pet subject, HISTORY.

Yet, I am not totally satisfied. The time travel is confusing. I don’t understand how the children do it. Does JB, their mentor/boss guy, have magic powers? Why those children? How exactly does the Elucidator means of travel work? Those are just a few questions I had, and MAYBE they would have been answered if I read the other books.

ALSO, the bad guy is named Second and he is such a mustache twirling type of villain. I don’t understand his motivation. Like, what is the point of messing with time? Why would anyone want to stop and destroy time completely? Is he doing it to be a dick or is their a legitimate reason — this inquiring mind wants to know.

I’d probably only recommend Torn if you’ve read the other books in the series.

Disclosure: Obtained from my library.

This is a CYBILS nominee.

Other Reviews of Torn by Margaret Peterson Haddix:

Becky’s Book Reviews

Purchase Torn here.*Yo, that takes you to Amazon where I am an affiliate shill. GET MONEYYYY’ MAKE IT RAIN UP IN HURRRR

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I wasn’t going to read this review at first because I saw it’s book 4, but decided to go ahead when I saw you hadn’t read the first books.

    I’ve never read a time traveling book with a villian who wanted to destroy time before. That doesn’t make sense to me either, because time is kinda important. Destroying time… wouldn’t that almost destroy everything? I guess being a dick as the only logical conclusion. lol

    The cover is pretty though. It reminds me of Trix Yogart.

  2. “is” not “as” Sorry. 🙂

  3. I read the other 3 books. I kinda forget them tho. But I do think in the 1st book they answer all ur questions.

    And Trix yogurt??

  4. Oh, and I just found out ’bout Second’s motive. He thinks he can improve time, not just be a dick and destroying it.

    hope this helps

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