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“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read.”
Publisher: Kane Miller, a Division of EDC Publishing,
Material: hard cover
Summary: With the death of his dad, Callum Ormond's year was already ending on a low note. The new year isn't starting much better. But he can't say he wasn't warned! Within hours of a stranger telling him to "beware" and "lay low," danger started coming at him from every turn. People were chasing him demanding information about the "Ormond Singularity." Having just escaped his kidnappers, he was in hiding because everyone thought he beat his little sister into a coma. Cal was desperate to figure out what his father was telling him in those drawings he sent. It was just January and time was already running out! This is the opening story in a year-long adventure series for pre-teens. The pace of this book will appeal to teens who struggle to read and benefit from high interest / low readability books.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 9 and up
Interest Level: 9 and up
Reading Level: 4.6
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: Hold onto your seats! Every page propels you deeper into the story and cheering for Cal. Instead of chapters, the story is punctuated by time stamps. Sometimes there are multiple stops in a day, sometimes 24 hours goes by. There were times when I thought events were moving too quickly, but for the most part the story is paced well enough that dormant and rabid readers will both enjoy it.
Pros: There is no shortage of action in Conspiracy 365. Callum is part spy, part detective. The story is very visual to the point that you feel like you are reading a movie.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! Since this is a serial of 12 books, you'll want all of the months on hand as you read.
Educational Themes: Most readers will focus on the adventure, but for kids who are dealing with the loss of a parent or close one, the story creates openings to talk about grief, change, and family relationships.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub, Inc. This is an unsolicited donation.
Literary Categories: Fiction - adventure, mystery, middle grade series, death and loss
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.