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The Famous Stanley Kidnapping Case


The Stanley family is moving to Italy! David, Janie, and twins Esther and Blair are thrilled. But their moody stepsister Amanda, thwarted from spending time in California with her father, spends the trip alternately moping or boasting about how rich her father is. And precocious Janie translates everything Amanda says to all the neighbors.

But such bragging does not go unnoticed. One terrible night, the children are kidnapped. David tries to make friends with the kidnappers to protect his family. But that’s hard to do when Janie lectures them on how to write a ransom note and Esther complains about the terrible food. Can David and Amanda use their siblings’ hijinks to outsmart the kidnappers?

This classic novel by Zilpha Keatley Snyder is by turns exciting, hilarious, and scary as it follows the plight of these rambunctious siblings.

Zilpha Keatley Snyder is the author of The Egypt Game, The Headless Cupid, and The Witches of Worm, all Newbery Honor Books. Her most recent books include The Treasures of Weatherby, The Bronze Pen, William S. and the Great Escape, and William’s Midsummer Dreams. She lives in Mill Valley, California. Visit her at

"Wholly entertaining, a work of zip and polish."

– The Horn Book

"Sparkles with fun."

– Publishers Weekly

"Hilarious but pithy as well."

– Chicago Tribune

"Crackling with the Stanley family's distinctive charm and energy."

– Kirkus Reviews

"A first-rate thriller."

– Chicago Sun-Times

"Scary entertainment and a good look at Italy."

– Christian Science Monitor

More books from this author: Zilpha Keatley Snyder

More books in this series: The Stanley Family