Sunday, January 18, 2009

Review: Kids on a Case: The Case of the Ten Grand Kidnapping

Author:  Tony Peters
Review Copy Provided by:  author
About the Book:  When local trouble maker, Tyler Bowen’s school crush, Kimberly Mockton, gets kidnapped by a gang of hardened criminals he is determined to rescue her. Her kidnapping devastates her entire school and leaves her family distraught and seeking help from the community. Tyler stumbles onto a massive clue when he overhears a conversation at an abandoned house and believes that he’s discovered the location of Kimberly’s kidnappers. He sets out to convince his classmates to help him find and rescue her; the few who believe him form their own group of private investigators.  As they set out on their investigative mission they get help from Police Chief, Goodall, and find themselves hot on the kidnapper’s trail. In order to keep up with the criminals, the kids resort to calculated tactics and adult methods that put their lives in danger. They search deep within themselves to find the strength, determination and perseverance needed to succeed. This crucial mission expands their minds and physical strength to limits they never imagined they had… their young lives are never the same again.

My Review:  This is the first review that I have done at the request of the author.  Tony found me through my blog, leaving a comment asking me to review his new book.  I know that many of you are hesitant to do this, but I jumped at the chance because, after reading an excerpt of his book online, I knew it was one I would enjoy as well as the kids that I work with.  I also respected Tony for reaching out to someone he did not know in order to get his "foot in the door," so to speak, with a book blogger.  I am happy that Tony chose me, and happy that I accepted because he has written a great mystery for kids.  I grew up with Nancy Drew, and my students love Nate the Great and other books about kids who solve mysteries.  It seems to be a genre that hooks kids.  For that reason, I'm sure they will love Kids on a Case as well.  Tony is already gearing up to do a sequel that I can't wait to read.  The story is told from Tyler's point of view, who is the leader of the Kids on a Case.  What's different about this story is that Tony uses flashbacks instead of just telling the story from beginning to end.  We begin with the kidnapping in progress and then flashback to the story behind the kidnapping, come back to the kidnapping and then go on with the story.  I liked that, becuase that's what hooked me, the suspense of the kidnapping.  I didn't particularly like that the two scenes were exactly, word for word, the same: the kidnapping in the intro and then again when it happened in time with the rest of the story.  I was reading the same page and a half that I had read at the beginning of the book.  Maybe a shortened version at the beginning, to hook the reader, and then give all the details in the real time version.  Aside from that, I loved the story line, how the kids worked together for a common good.  For kids, this is really a story that they can relate to because so much of it is authentic.  For example:  Tony gets in trouble alot, gets grounded, sneaks out, and doesn't always listen to his parents; typical 12 year old behavior.  Tony really did his research, or just remembers real well what it's like to be a kid.  I will definitely be recommending this book to some of my more reluctant boys because I think they will enjoy the story, and relate to Tyler in many ways.  I will also recommend it to other teachers and my librarian as a book that needs to be in our school and classroom libraries.  Kids from late elementary to middle school will enjoy this one.  Congratulations Tony, on a great "first" book!

You can read an excerpt of chapter 1 here.

Thank you Tony Peters for finding my blog and requesting a review.  I wish you nothing but the best in your future writing endeavors!

Stay tuned for more from Tony this week as he stops by my blog for an interview.

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