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Horowitz, Anthony.
New York : Philomel Books, 2001.
IL 5-8, RL 8.5
ISBN 0399236201

(13 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Alex Rider is pretty sure the police are lying to him. Suuuuure his uncle died in a car crash. What kind of “accident” leaves a car riddled with bullet holes? Yesterday, life was sweet, living large in London with his wealthy banker uncle, today, the man who was like a father to him is dead, and all he gets is lies and mysteries.

The problem for Alex, though isn’t about finding out the truth. Alex is clever and has an unexpected gift for sneaking around. The problem is that when Alex does learn that his “banker” uncle was actually a spy working for British Intelligence’s MI6—MI6 then decides Alex is too good to let go. The utterly ruthless spymaster running the agency gives Alex a life or death choice—finish his uncle’s last mission—or else.

Now Alex is going deep undercover to smoke out an international bio-terrorist and would-be mass-murderer.  No one would ever suspect a teenage kid—right--?

If James Bond were a teenager, his name would be Alex Rider. Check out the non-stop action of Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

(by Kirsten Edwards of the King County Library System for Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, 2003-2004.)

Booktalk #2

Alex Rider’s parents were killed years ago in a plane crash. He has been living with his uncle, Ian Rider, his last living relative.  Alex thought his uncle worked at a bank, but he didn’t know what he did or even that much about him.  When Alex is told his uncle died in a car accident, because he didn’t have his seat belt on, Alex can’t believe it, because his uncle was always so cautious about seat belts.  A series of mysterious events cause him to go find his uncle’s car at the junkyard.  His whole world is turned upside down when he finds bullet holes in the car, and realizes his uncle was murdered!  But why?  Why would anyone murder a bank employee?  This question leads him to discover that his uncle was a spy.  Now, Alex has to finish his uncle’s mission to get revenge. Will he survive?
Prepared by: Trevor Hansen and Roberta Rivers for South Carolina Junior Book Award 2005

Booktalk #3

Bullet holes through the windows and in the car in his uncles BMW. Alex is starting to smell something fishy going on but as soon as he starts to get on his bike to tell his care taker Jacky what he saw, he sees a worker at the dump with a gun in a holster. So Alex jumps into his uncles broken BMW and hopes no one saw him. No one did, but when he pops his head up there’s a crane reaching down to grab the top of the BWM that Alex. It’s too late, one of the claws has jammed the car doors shut so he try's to claw his way out the window but his leg is pinned to the ground by a piece of metal holding it to the bottom of the car. Will he survive…? The story Stormbreaker is about a 14 year old kid who’s parents died and just now his uncles death has something very suspicious about it. Like the part that’s there’s a shower of bullet holes in his car.  Alex is forced to sign up for  M16 to go spy on the guy that has something very fishy going on . What will happen next,will he survive will he die like his uncle or will he save the day? The only way to find out is to read the book. What will happen? (Shane, student)

Booktalk #4

Alex Rider is a 14 year old kid whose uncle, Ian Rider, was a spy!  One day the police came to Alex’s door and told him that his uncle had died in a car crash.  Alex finds out that his uncle was in a car crash, but his car had been shot with bullets and that is how he died.  Alex took on his uncle’s job and became a spy for M16 (which is who his uncle worked for).  He goes to Sayle Enterprise to do the spying.  While he is looking around, he finds out that Sayle is making computers called Stormbreakers.  When Sayle turns all the computers on, a puff of smoke will come out and all the school children would die.  During his journey he always gets caught and it is very dangerous out there.  Read the book Stormbreaker to find out if Alex stops Sayle from making the Stormbreakers.  It is a very good book!  (Alyssa, student)

Booktalk #5

“Mrs. Rider?  Anyone home?” It was the police.  What were they doing at Ian Rider’s house, and in the middle of the night?  Alex Rider had lost his parents when he was young and now lived with his uncle Ian Rider in Great Britain.  He went downstairs to answer the door for the police.  “Hello officers, um, just a question, why are you here?”  Alex said.  “We are here because your uncle, Ian Rider, was killed in a car accident earlier in the night.  It was a simple mistake, he forgot to put on his seatbelt and got hit by another car, then died.” One of the police said. That didn’t make any sense.  Ian Rider always put his seatbelt on.  Even that little thing, Ian never let Alex forget about.  Whenever Alex was in a car, he had to put his seatbelt on otherwise there was the world’s biggest lecture.  He closed the door and went to tell Jackie.  Jackie was an exchange student from America who was living with Alex. 
Later in the story, Alex goes to his uncle’s funeral.  “Hello, I’m terribly sorry about your uncle’s death.  I’m Mr. Blunt, I used to work with Ian.  I suppose I should leave you to your thoughts.”  When they left, Mr. Blunt bent over to get into the car and Alex saw a gun in a holster in his jacket.  As soon as that happened, Mr. Blunt grabbed his jacket and clamped it tight.  Alex was wondering if the “accident” really an accident after all.   He was heading back to his house when he saw a moving van there.  Alex looked inside and it was empty except for the shattered glass on the floor.  He decided to go find a phone book and find where that truck was from.  He found it.  It was a junk yard.  Alex told Jackie that he was going out for a while and didn’t know when he would be back.  He went to the junkyard and had to dodge all of the workers.  When he found his uncle’s car but it was fine.  But when he got closer to it he could see that it wasn’t fine at all.   Now is when you find out the rest by reading it yourself.  (Kristy, student)

Booktalk #6

Alex Rider is on the brink of homelessness. His parents are dead, his uncle just died, his American housekeeper/caretaker’s visa is about to expire which means she will have to be sent back to the U.S.  Then he finds out that his uncle, Ian, who supposedly worked at a bank and died in a car accident, was really a spy for M16, Britain’s equivalent of our CIA, and the bullet holes in his uncle’s car reveal the horrifying truth. The agency asks Alex to take over his uncle’s unfinished mission, which is spying on Herod Sayle, a big business owner. They believe Sayle, owner of Sayle Enterprises, is up to something. He has announced that he is going to give one of his newest products, the Stormbreaker computer, to every school in England.  The computer is supposed to help kids with school. Sayle is Egyptian, and is supposed to receive English citizenship for his acts. So Alex enters Sayle enterprises and finds everything normal. They even let him try a computer and he finds nothing wrong.  But with some snooping Alex finds what horrible things Sayle is really doing. To find out what happens with Alex read Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz.   (Andrew, student)

Booktalk #7

This book is a captivating story about a 14 year old boy on a mission.  Alex Rider was a normal kid living with his uncle… or so he thought. When his parents die in a plane crash he was sent to live with his uncle Ian Rider. But, when police knock on his door telling him his uncle died in a car accident he is suspicious, and when he finds his uncle’s car sprayed with bullet holes he knows something is up, his uncle’s death was no accident, and he wants to find out why.  He doesn’t have to look far though, people from Royal and General bank (or so it’s called) approach him telling him they are really a secret spy agency named M16, and want him to go on a mission, find his uncle’s killer and see what secret cost him his life.  What will happen?  Will he succeed?  And who will he run into on the way?  To find out read Stormbreaker!  (Ryan, student)

Booktalk #8

Alex dropped his bike and ran to his Uncle’s car, there were bullets in the driver’s side of the car and red stains on the seat. Alex didn’t even want to think about what had happened. He knew he had been told a lie. 
Stormbreaker is about a 14 year old boy named Alex Rider. Alex’s parents died when he was young so Alex moved in with his Uncle Ian. Alex had lived with Uncle Ian almost his entire life. The bank Alex’s uncle works for tells Alex that his uncle died in a car crash. When Alex’s finds his Uncle Ian’s car with bullets in the side and blood stains on the seat Alex knows something else happened. When one of Ian Rider’s friends, Mr.Blunt, who worked with Alex’s Uncle, takes him to the bank they pass Alex’s uncle’s office. Alex tries to get in but it’s locked, so he climbs out the window and lands in his Uncle’s office. Alex finds a file named Stormbreaker but before he can get to it, a man comes in and shoots him with a stun dart. When Alex wakes up he’s not in the office building anymore. Alex doesn’t know where he is until Mr.Blunt comes in and tells him that his Uncle Ian was a spy and the agency which is called M16 asks Alex to go into 2 weeks of training then take the mission his Uncle died on. The mission is called Stormbreaker, and Alex accepts. M16 tells Alex that a man named Mr.Sayle is planning to ship out these special learning computers to every school in England and in return Mr.Sayle is getting something he always wanted, but not what everyone thinks he wanted. Soon Alex finds himself at Sayle’s house pretending he’s someone else. At first, every thing’s fine and when Alex tests out  the computers nothing seems to be wrong, but when he finds out that Mr.Sayle is working with a contact killer, Alex knows  that something is up. When he tries to find out what’s going on, he gets caught, and Mr.Sayles assistant threatens Alex with a knife, he thinks it’s all over for him. But then something surprises Alex. Mr. Sayles assistant actually lets Alex go then tricks him into going to her office to get a phone to contact the spy agency. When Alex walks up the stairs he’s in for a surprise. Alex walks into a trap and falls into a big body of water, but when Alex looks down he sees a huge jelly fish. The worst part is Alex finds out that each Stormbreaker computer contains a small hidden compartment with a powder that can kill you. There will be a huge ceremony honoring Mr. Sayle, and at the ceremony all the Stormbreaker computers will be launched when the Prime Minister presses a button. Will Alex get out? Find out by reading Stormbreaker.  (Katherine, student)

Booktalk #9

This story is about an ordinary English schoolboy who never knew his parents and was raised by his uncle, Ian Rider. Alex is faced with bad news at the beginning of the story. According to the police, Alex's uncle had died in a car accident. When Alex goes to inspect the car he draws a different conclusion based on the bullet holes. Alex then questions what really happens and finds out his uncle was a spy. Alex is asked to finish the investigation his uncle had started. In my opinion, this is one of the greatest books I've ever read. Every part of the book is non-stop action. It's hard to stop reading because you always want to know what happens next. If you're the kind of person who loves non-stop action and suspense that won't let you stop reading, then you've got to read this book.  (Brandon, 8th grade, Maroa-Forsyth Middle School, Illinois)

Booktalk #10

In Stormbreaker, Alex's uncle dies in a "car accident", but Alex thinks that the cops were covering for someone. So Alex goes under cover and finds Ian's car with bullet holes in it. Who killed Ian? If you like fast paced stories, like Lightening Thief and Swindle, then you will love this book!  --Devin Hester's # Fan, Brookview Elementary, Waukee, IA

Booktalk #11

It's already hard enough for 14 year old Alex Rider, when his parents are dead and he's been living with his uncle pretty much his whole life, but when his Uncle, Ian Rider, dies, things get even harder... and stranger. These people that worked with his uncle ask him a question that will change him forever..... read to find out what happens!
----Nancy Drew, Brookview Elementary, Waukee, IA

Booktalk #12

Alex Rider is a 14 year old boy in a normal life, he thinks his uncle works for a bank. Then one night, his uncle is driving home and supposedly gets in a car accident. But, Alex figures out what really happened and goes on a mission to save the world!
---Eragon, Brookview Elementary, Waukee, IA

Booktalk #13

Alex Rider is a teen who lives in London. He lived with his uncle and his housekeeper, Jack. His uncle died and he finds his car because he supposedly had a car crash and was not wearing a seat belt. However, Alex knew that his uncle would never leave the block without putting on his seat belt. And what about his office, why was all the stuff gone? Alex knew one thing, his uncle did not die in a car crash, he must have died some other way! Alex was going to find out how!
--- Zelda, Brookview Elementary, Waukee, IA

SUBJECTS:     Spies -- Fiction.
                        Terrorism -- Fiction.
                        Orphans -- Fiction.
                        England -- Fiction.


Permission is granted for the noncommercial duplication and use of this resource, provided it is substantially unchanged from its present form and appropriate credit is given.