Monday, March 21, 2011

Alex Rider series - great spy adventures (ages 10 - 14)

Quick action, secret undercover agents, short cliff-hangers: it's a perfect recipe for young teen readers. The Alex Rider series is incredibly popular, and justifiably so. Fans of the series will be excited to learn that the newest and last in the series is just being published. Parents looking for a new series to hook kids who grew up loving the adventure in Harry Potter and Percy Jackson should check this out.
Stormbreaker (Alex Rider Adventure)Stormbreaker
Alex Rider #1
by  Anthony Horowitz
NY: Philomel Books, 2001
audiobook narrated by Nathaniel Parker
NY: Listening Library
ages 10 - 14
available on Amazon and at your local library
When Alex Rider's uncle and guardian is mysteriously killed, the 14 year old starts asking questions, quickly discovering that his uncle was an undercover spy for the British government. Alex is pulled into the mystery and soon reluctantly joins the Special Operations division of MI6, his uncle's employer. After a short, brutal training, Alex starts investigating the case his uncle had left unsolved: to discover the secret that Herod Sayle is hiding behind his generous donation of one of his supercomputers to every school in the country. It's an exciting novel that will have readers turning pages to see if Alex can survive one dangerous encounter after another.
Scorpia Rising: An Alex Rider Misson (An Alex Rider Novel)Scorpia Rising
Alex Rider #9
NY: Philomel Books, 2011
ages 10 - 14
available on Amazon and at your local library
Kids who have already been hooked by this series will be thrilled to learn that the newest Alex Rider book is being published March 22nd. From the publisher's summary: "Scorpia has dogged Alex Rider for most of his life. They killed his parents, they did their best to con Alex into turning traitor, and they just keep coming back with more power. Now the world's most dangerous terrorist organization is playing with fire in the world's most combustible land: the Middle East. No one knows Scorpia like Alex. And no one knows how best to get to Alex like Scorpia. Until now." The chase scenes promise to be intense, as Alex survives one perilous challenge after another.

I could hang onto this and read it in full, or I could pass it onto kids who will set aside their favorite video games to devour a 400 page book. It's an easy choice - yep, I haven't read this latest one all the way through, but I promise you it's going be loved in our middle school!

Anthony Horowitz is visiting many schools and bookstores in March and April to promote this book. He'll be in California this week, and then in April he'll visit the Chicago area, DC and Dallas. Here are his visits this week:
Tuesday, March 22: Irvine, CA at Whale of a Tale
Wednesday, March 23: Santa Monica, CA at Barnes & Noble
Thursday, March 24: Petaluma, CA at Copperfield's Books
Friday, March 25: Menlo Park, CA at Kepler's Books

Here's a complete listing of the Alex Rider series:
1. Stormbreaker
2. Point Blank
3. Skeleton Key
4. Eagle Strike
5. Scorpia
6. Ark Angel
7. Snakehead
8. Crocodile Tears
9. Scorpia Rising

If you enjoy the Alex Rider series, I highly recommend trying the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy. Great action, witty dialog, full of suspense and mystery.

Many thanks to the Penguin Group for sending a review copy of this book. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2011 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books.

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