Okay, so, my relationship with James Patterson is as a serial killer novel writer (Kiss the Girls, Along Came A Spider). So I was really surprised when I heard he'd been writing novels for teens. I'm a little out of touch, being at the elementary school, but I like to read teen novels because, gosh, they're good!
This one... well, I wouldn't say it's good. The blurb says "Spider-Man meets Men in Black," which is a very accurate description. It's scary. It's gory. It's fast. It's even funny, at times. It's also very simply written. The chapters are each three pages long. The language is easy. I would guess the lexile level is around 800, or less... (running to Titlewave to check -- ha! 680; that's third grade!). There's no discernible character development, and all the supporting characters are flat as construction paper.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's clearly written for low level readers, but in such a way that most teen readers would still really enjoy it. Heck, I enjoyed it. So, I guess that makes it good!
It's hard to find hi-lo books in such a convincing, appealing package. This one works. But, unfortunately, I think it's too scary and gory for most elementary school students (this coming from a girl who read Steven King at eleven), so don't reach for this as a hook for your third or fourth grade reluctant readers.
Labels: books for boys, hi-lo, science fiction, teen