The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson

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.  

Awesomeness: 5/10
Wordsmithing: 2/10
Personages: 2/10
Mesmerizitude: 7/10

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