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Author: Herbie Brennan

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Balzer and Bray, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, ©2010

Material: hard cover

Summary: You know what they say: if it looks too good to be true ... When British teen Danny Lipman enters an old house to steal something, he discovered a hidden door. Then he finds a girl strapped to a chair with a helmet on her head. He thinks it is an electric chair, and goes to save her, but is assaulted and captured. Meet Opal, also a teen, who is part of a super-secret government project that uses teens to bring down the enemy. Together Danny and Opal must depart their physical bodies to bring down the enemy's psychic. Can they do it? This is a preeteen fantasy adventure about teen spies.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 11 and up

Interest Level: 9 and up

Reading Level: 6

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: This book is very short, but packed with adventure and sci-fi. The blend of multicultural psychic beliefs is very interesting, and the characters go to interesting places. I would recommend this book as a gift to anyone who would not get scared by the thoughts of monsters wreaking havoc on Earth. In addition to this book, I would recommend the books in the Alchemyst series by Michael Scott.

Adult Reader Reaction: Fast-paced, fascinating and fun! With the exception of Sir Roland, it can be a bit confusing at times trying to keep the various adults / project managers straight. They aren’t the main characters. The chapters are short, which I found particularly valuable because each chapter is jam-packed with action, so having these frequent breaks not only helped me process some of the technical details, it kept me turning pages, too.

Pros: This is a fast, thrilling book for readers who love spy stories, action thrillers, and/or science fiction. Short chapters make it a great selection for readers who want to read it in "parts."

Cons: Some younger readers may find the descriptions and activity scary.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Exciting and fun, but you'll be ready for the next book and not return to this one.


Educational Themes: This is a story for pleasure reading.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, adventure, mystery

Date(s) Reviewed: February 2012, July 2014

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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