Monday, May 19, 2008

Alfred Kropp- The Thirteenth Skull

I just got back from my last books and boys workshop of the season. On the way to El Paso, TX, I read an advance copy of Alfred Kropp The Thirteenth Skull by Rick Yancey- book three of the Alfred Kropp Adventures, published by Bloomsbury Books, 2008 (rated YA for violence,- language is minimal). I remember when I read the first book The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, I thought, "Genius! He's Alex Rider meets Indiana Jones." 13th Skull is even better.

Ok- Here is what I think about Skulls.

1. This is not an "airplane" book. I almost missed my flight- twice!! I was so engrossed in the story that not once, but twice, I looked up to turn a page and found myself almost alone- everyone else had boarded.

2. Another reason it is not an airplane book- I read almost the whole thing by the time I got from San Diego to El Paso. I read so fast, I hardly took time for oxygen. Cliff-hanging chapters with sharp last sentences, just increases the chance that readers will finish in one sitting.

Another thing I liked is that it is not filled with gratuitous cursing. So many YA books just go on and on. By the time Alfred actually says something, I am thinking even this good ole’ Southern Baptist girl would be cursing too. (Don't tell my mother.)

I was exhausted after the first chapter. It was like reading an Indiana Jones movie. I laughed out loud. I cried. I got really scared when I thought Alfred was going to die about mid-book. It's genius! Good thing I took some other books for the return flights- a sad disappointment compared to Alfred's adventures.

I love Alfred because he’s real. He’s a hero, but flawed. He’s a teenager, but mature. He’s as real as a character can get and still be fiction. He’s brilliant!

Rick Yancey has written another adventure in a book that is sure to top the charts. Skulls is certainly one of my favorite books this year for boys or anyone else who likes a good read. Having a female co-star signs the deal for that!

I will restlessly wait for Alfred’s next adventures. In the meantime, you can check out Rick's website. There is a contest that begins August 4! You could win an autographed copy of one of his books or a Seal of Solomon T-shirt.

Ciao For Now Y'all!

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