When I was first asked (in 2008) to write the book that became Vanished: True Stories of the Missing, I said no, feeling it would be too tough to find age-appropriate stories.
Today I discovered that Scholastic has produced a Reading Group Guide for it.
How far we've come.
The guide is strong. Someone spent time getting to know the material and teased out substantial questions and suggestions.
When parents or teachers nervously ask about the content, I say that none of the seven stories contain any gruesome actions, three of the stories are about people who did not remain missing, and two of those stories are about young people who weren't just found—they saved themselves. And I do mean young—second grade and kindergarten.
I did not write the book with a lesson in mind but there's a fine takeaway in that.
See also: Vanished curriculum ideas.