International Intrigue: The Secret of Rover

Here’s a brand new book, by a first-time children’s author, and a real page-turner!  If you like the suspense and action of stories like The 39 Clues or Alex Rider series, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

The Secret of Rover, by Rachel Wildavsky (lexile: 690; AR book level: 4.9; 345 pp)

It starts innocently enough.  Alan and Sandra Bowden are flying to the country of Katkajan* for a few days to pick up the baby girl they’re adopting.   A nanny (recommended by the adoption agency) will come to stay with their 12-year-old twins, Katie and David.  Then comes the word that the parents and new baby have been kidnapped by revolutionaries in Katkajan — and the nanny, in on the plot, is holding the twins hostage.  The reason is that Alan and Sandra are the inventors of the Rover, a super-secret spy device used by the US government, and the revolutionaries want to get their hands on it.

The kidnappers have threatened to kill their parents if Katie and David breathe a word to the authorities.  Somehow they must escape the nanny and her cohorts and make their way across country to find their reclusive Uncle Alex (whom they’ve never met), the only person they trust to help them rescue their parents.  With the bad guys in hot pursuit and the clock ticking on their parents’ lives, will they be able to save them?  And will this mysterious device, the Rover, somehow play a role in the rescue?

The action is slower at the beginning, but builds quickly once the twins escape their kidnappers.  Wildavsky has worked as both a Washington, D.C., journalist and in the White House under two presidents, so I expect her portrayal of the State Department and international intrigue is authentic.

*not a real country**
** I bet you knew that.


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