Saturday, April 12, 2008

Steel Trapp: The Challenge by Ridley Pearson

Steven “Steel” Trapp is a teenage genius that is headed to Washington, D.C. with his mother and faithful dog, Cairo, to participate in the National Science Challenge. Besides his science prowess, Steel is also blessed photographic memory—or it seems like a blessing until he sees a lady leave a briefcase behind on the train. Only trying to do the right thing, Steel rushes after her to return the briefcase, but the lady is adamant that the brief case is not hers, and leaves. Curious, Steel peers into the brief case by removing a leg from the bottom of the briefcase, wondering why the lady wanted to leave the case behind so badly. But after peeking into the briefcase, Steel wishes he could remove the images burned into his brain after seeing the briefcase’s contents. Unfortunately, that is impossible for Steel, and he, his dog, and a new girl he meets on the train, Kaileigh, are off for an adventure of their lifetime!

They’re tangled up in a case far larger and more complex than they could have known, as gang members, federal agents, and some unexpected acquaintances try to achieve their own ends, or prevent others from doing so. Will Steel and Kaileigh (and possibly Steel’s science invention) save the day? Or will the ingenious plan set in motion by the bad guys win and trump even the brilliant minds of the FBI, Marshalls, and Steel and Kaileigh?

Steel Trapp: The Challenge is geared towards a younger audience (some older readers may find it predictable at some turns) but this book would no doubt be a great action novel for younger kids. With several references to pop culture, this fast paced adventure with a smart hero and heroine team will appeal to fans of other action-packed novels, such as the Alex Rider series (with which this novel has several similarities)!

Recommended audience: advanced chapter book readers & ages 10+

Friday, April 11, 2008

Otto Undercover: Born to Drive by Rhea Perlman

Meet Otto Philip, a young boy who inherits a bad singing gene. But bad singing voice or not, Otto Philip is a young genius that is one of the world’s greatest racecar drivers! He even built his own racecar (the fastest in the world!) that he named Racecar. Why racecar, you ask? Because Otto loves palindromes! Palindromes are words that are spelled the same backwards and forwards—even Otto’s name is one!

Young Otto lives with his aunts because his parents had supposedly left to go find the eighth continent in the world. But Otto does not mind living with his aunts; they’ve helped him get his driver’s license and even wrote him a note to help him get out of school forever! Now Otto has plenty of time to invent new things and to tweak Racecar (who already has everything from a tire washer to a voice-controlled system!) so it will be better than ever!

A big race is coming up: the Yazoo 200, where the winning racer will be awards one million dollars. Otto Philip is hoping to be that winner (who wouldn't want a million dollars?) But before you go on to think that Otto is a selfish, spoiled little racecar driver, he wanted to win the prize money so he could donate it to Dr. Fran Kafmat of the Children’s hospital for it’s research of a germ blocker. However, other eyes are on that huge sum as well—and not all are willing to donate it to a good cause like Otto is! Along with this race, more surprises will ensue—can Otto beat his rivals?

Even Otto is caught off guard on morning when he wakes up to find that Racecar has been stolen and replaced with a broken imitation! A pair of dumb crooks (who have repeated third grade a handful of times!) managed to sneak into Otto’s garage during the night! What will he do now? Can he track down the thieves and still compete?

Otto Undercover: Born to Drive is an easy, enjoyable read for young readers—especially those who like racecars! With easy chapters and a few stabs at humor this book will delight young readers and leave them wanting another adventure with Otto!


So I know that not every young reader knows what a blog is, and that's why the reviews done here will also be posted in the public library that I work at.

I'm hoping to possibly expand this idea more to even more kids at the library, so please send over your books for us to read and review!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Welcome to the Junior Book Vault, the branch of the Book Vault for books for younger readers! (i.e. easier chapter books and picture books!)
I have a few younger readers as my lovely consultants and some of the older ones will probably help post some reviews now and then as well!

So if you have a book that's not quite for YA readers, but for younger readers instead, just drop us a line at jrbookvault @!