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About the Author-
James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 375 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.
August 15, 2019
The prolific king of the beach read is back with an intergenerational mystery for the 9-to-12-year-old set. Ali Cross, the son of Patterson's most famous creation, African American homicide detective Alex Cross, is "starting to think the worst might have happened" to his mixed-race friend Gabriel "Gabe" Qualls, who disappeared on Dec. 21 and hasn't been heard from as of Christmas Eve, when the book opens. Ali offers an impromptu prayer for Gabe at the pre-holiday service at his all-black church as well as an impromptu press conference outside of it as journalists and paparazzi confront Alex about his alleged coma-inducing assault of a murder suspect's father. Then someone robs the Crosses' home that night along with four other homes; the Crosses' Christmas gifts are stolen. Ali, obsessed with finding Gabe and feeling that these events will distract his dad and the police from searching for him, starts his own investigation--complete with looking at some contraband footage of Gabe's unusually loaded backpack obtained by Ali's stepmother, also a cop--and questioning his school and gaming pals, a diverse group. Writing in Ali's voice with occasional cutaways to third-person chapters that follow Alex, Patterson sprinkles the narrative with pop-culture references even as he takes readers through the detective process. Written in workhorse prose, it's an amiable enough read. (Mystery. 9-12)
COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
November 1, 2019
Gr 5 Up-Ali Cross is the son of celebrated Washington, D.C. detective Alex Cross, and his dream is to follow in his dad's footsteps and become a great detective. When his friend Gabe goes missing, Ali sees it as his chance to help the police solve a real mystery. But tensions are high in his community after his dad is accused of hurting a suspect's family member, and Ali has to deal with bullies, reporters, and his own father's protectiveness in his quest to rescue his friend. Told in the alternating perspectives of Ali and Alex, this is a fresh look at the world of James Patterson's most famous protagonist through a middle grade lens. Though the message of police violence is simplistic compared to other offerings for the age group, this entry-level police procedural will be an exciting read. Patterson drops frequent references to other children's detective novels throughout, leaving a breadcrumb trail of recommendations. VERDICT Patterson blends the fun of James Ponti's "T.O.A.S.T." mysteries and Stuart Gibbs's "Spy School" with a bit of commentary about the complications of policing in the modern era. A good buy for any collection serving young Patterson fans and middle grade action/thriller audiences.-Madison Bishop, Plymouth Public Library, MA
Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
September 15, 2019
Grades 4-7 Ali knows about being a respected detective?his dad is the famous Alex Cross. So when Ali's friend Gabe goes missing, he fears the worst. A string of burglaries look like a child-size accomplice may be involved, so Ali wonders if Gabe is being forced to participate. When Ali makes contact with Gabe, he's warned to stop searching for his own good. Patterson may have forgotten his audience, as some chapters are narrated by Alex Cross?a character most readers are not going to recognize. These chapters exist as a somewhat clumsy device to help Ali "discover" things no young detective could realistically discover on his own (surveillance from street cameras, anyone?). However, there are highlights in Ali's first case, such as creatively using an immersive video game environment the preteens are addicted to as a way to communicate with Gabe. Ali is a flawed detective, often rushing into danger without thinking, which makes him more likable. If young readers can get past the dad chapters, they'll find much to like in this first installment. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Patterson's banking on the runaway success of his Alex Cross series to spill over into this middle-grade series starter, and with a hefty marketing campaign, he just might be right.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2019, American Library Association.)
PublisherHachette Book Group
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