Thus begins the Anthony Horowitz series Alex Rider. Child labor laws to the contrary, Alex is a spy with MI-6 in England. He is placed in assignments that only a child could pull off, such as a computer contest, a boarding school, or the stand-in child of other spies. He completes his assignment using his brains, athletic skills, and nifty gadgets from the workshop.
Sound familiar? It should. Many of the stories are similar to the Ian Fleming Bond series, complete with bad one liners, but minus the, um, feminine sidekicks. But they are well written, entertaining romps that older children, ages ten and up, will thoroughly enjoy.
There are currently seven books in the series, the latest, Snakehead, came out in November. (I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet as it is currently wrapped and under my tree, but I am looking forward to it.) These books are definitely for older kids. There is a level of tension and drama that a younger child, even if they are an advanced reader, probably cannot handle. There are a number of deaths in the stories and while the violence is fairly mild, it is there. For a younger tween, say between ten and twelve, you may want to read it for yourself first, but at least you’ll have fun doing it.
This series is great if for no other reason than it keeps tweeners interested in recreational reading. Such an adventure filled series is the perfect antidote to video games and television. For the tweener in your life who needs a nudge to keep reading, this is a great way to do it.