Sure, Nancy and I run a website and we both work on digital stuff for our day jobs too — but neither of us could ever compare to Adam Henderson, the tech prodigy hero of Patrick Carman’s newest series, Trackers.*
Well, “hero” may not be the right word for Adam. He’s definitely the main character and you’re rooting for him, but it appears that he’s gotten himself and his three best friends into some serious trouble. How serious? It’s hard to say, because there’s only one Trackers book so far, and not all the details are revealed. But you learn pretty quickly that Adam and his fellow Trackers (Finn, Lewis, and Emily) are experts at trailing other people by following digital clues. But it turns out… someone else has been watching them! [cue scary music and dramatic flashing lights]
I don’t want to give away too much because the fun of Trackers is that it’s set up for readers themselves to steadily get to the bottom of things, through a combo of the book and short online videos. To be honest, at first I was a little frustrated because I really *hate* not knowing what’s going on. And, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty impatient. Imagine a monkey who sees a banana through a window but doesn’t realize there’s glass in the way. Yeah, that’s me (except not as hairy)… But once I got over it, I really got into the suspense of the story and I enjoyed trying to guess what would come next.
Here, check out the official trailer for a peek into the Trackers experience:
So, now the most frustrating part is waiting for the next book to come out! Luckily Patrick Carman — er, I mean, the Trackers have put together a Trackers Missions hub where you can take on assignments from them — if you dare! (Okay, okay, the missions aren’t actually dangerous as far as I can tell, but they are addicting! I started working on Adam’s mission just now, and I almost forgot to come back and finish writing this post!)
Karen still remembers the first time she went on the internet. It was 12th grade. She was at a friend’s house, and Karen was all like, “What’s this search doing? Where are these pages coming from?” That same day, she discovered mp3s and it blew her mind!
The House of Power (Book 1 in the Atherton series)
Starting Monday, our new theme will be fantasy series — but one of my favorite trilogies won’t be on the list. And that’s because despite appearances, Patrick Carman’s Atherton series is not actually fantasy.
Say what? Like I said, the books definitely seem to be fantasy. The story starts off depicting life in a land called Atherton, which is divided by huge cliffs into three separate levels. At the top are the Highlands, populated by a small ruling class who control all the water. The middle level is Tabletop, where the working folks tend to livestock and farming. At the bottom are the Flatlands, a barren and unexplored wasteland.
Rivers of Fire (Book 2 in the Atherton series)
At the beginning of the series, no one is able to move between the three levels. But as you can guess, all that’s about the change — thanks to an orphan named Edgar who has a gift for climbing and a strong sense of curiosity.
Okay, so that still sounds like a fantasy series, right? Well, here’s the thing — there’s a secret about Atherton that none of its residents know. And every day they’re unaware of it, that’s another day closer to their doom. [imagine dramatic music here]
It’s Edgar who sets in motion the slow reveal of Atherton’s secret, and as the characters start to piece together the mystery, so does the reader. And soon enough, it becomes clear why I’m saying this series isn’t fantasy after all.
The Dark Planet (Book 3 in the Atherton series)
What is it, exactly? Well, I don’t want to ruin it, because you should absolutely pick up Book 1: The House of Power right away (as soon as you’re done visiting every last page on Kidsmomo.com). All I’ll say is that Atherton may not be as distant as you’d think… [cue dramatic music x1000!!!!]