Horowitz is a prolific writer, and has produced a number of series and stand alone books for younger teens and children. ‘Stormbreaker’ is the first in a long line of Alex Rider spy stories. As a young teen’s book, it’s a very easy read for me, and also very predictable. I think it would be great for kids who are too young for James Bond (particularly boys) just to get them into reading. Hit the jump for more…
Alex Rider’s uncle has just been killed in a suspicious car accident. His parents have died years before, and now the only person looking out for him is Jack, an American immigrant to London whose visa is about to expire. Alex wouldn’t be worried – except for the bank that his uncle worked for is hunting him…
Alex is a somewhat sketchy character, but certainly enough to satisfy younger readers. The entire focus is on Alex, despite the book being written in 3rd person perspective. The main driver of the book is the plot, which leaps ahead very quickly – that is the element that would make this book attractive to younger readers with a short attention span. The language is quite simple as well.
This novel was shortlisted for the 2001 Children’s Book Awards, and I can understand why. Yes, there is violence and death in it, but only of the bad guys! Alex himself isn’t allowed a gun, which I think was a wise move by Horowitz, given the current climate. This book is a number of years old (obviously), but it’s certainly still relevant and enjoyable today.
This book, and the others in the series (which I will probably get around to reading and reviewing soon), are good books for children and reluctant readers.