Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Simmons, Michael.
New York : Razorbill, 2005.
ISBN 1595140212

(2 booktalks)

Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

What a book!  Just imagine--you live with your dad who is a filthy rich businessman, but who treats you like you are the world's worst kid, and keeps you as poor as a church mouse.  To compensate, you work for your dad's company, and get into lifting stuff from the business, which you then sell on ebay and the black market to get that necessity of every teen's life, money.  Suddenly, your dad, who you constantly have a terrible time with, (but who is still your dad) is arrested for murder.  The key to solving the crime lies with one of the laptop computers you lifted.  Now, what do you do?  Turn over the computer, and your "goose is cooked;" leave your poor dad to be convicted of something he didn't do, and end up serving a long prison sentence; or try to find out who did do the murder, and become the shining, brilliant son your father has always wanted (and, in your mind, you've known that you always could be)!

   This is easy reading with short chapters, and written in a very appealing, off-hand style (remember Ferris Bueller?).  There's plenty of action, suspense and escapades! There's coming to grips with who you are; father-son relationships; even a love interest.  Weave into that the threat of unleashing smallpox, high-tech hacking, and international intrigue, and you have a great, fast-paced story.  (Barb Hartings, Lebanon High School Library/Media Center)

Booktalk #2

Sixteen-year-old Evan Macalister narrates this exciting page-turner. His account spins between laugh out loud funny, and terrifying. Evanís dad is a multimillionaire but he doesnít want Evan to be a spoiled rich kid. Heís pretty hard on Evan and doesnít give him any of the luxury items Evanís rich friends all seem to have. Evan takes matters into his own hands. He wants nice things and finds a quick, albeit illegal, way to get what he wants. He ďliberatesĒ electronics from his fatherís business, and sells them online for quick cash. All goes smoothly with Evanís scheme until thereís a murder at the business and his dad is accused of the crime. The murder victimís laptop, which could provide clues, is missing. Rather than let on to the police about his illegal theft of office equipment, Evan enlists his friends to help him prove his fatherís innocence. The story becomes one of international intrigue with the threat of bio-terrorism and Evan and his friends are right in the middle of it. (Jean B. Bellavance for Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards, 2006-2007)

SUBJECTS:     Fathers -- Fiction.
                        Murder -- Fiction.
                        Bioterrorism -- Fiction.
                        Paris (France) -- Fiction.
                        Mystery and detective stories.


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