Becca C. Smith received her Film degree from Full Sail University and has worked in the Film and Television industry for most of her adult life. In 2010 Becca published her first novel, Riser followed by the sequel, Reaper, in 2011, and the finale, Ripper in 2013. In 2012 Becca wrote the children's novel Alexis Tappendorf and the Search for Beale's Treasure. She is also the co-author of the teen graphic novel Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted. Becca currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Stephan and their two cats Jack and Duke.
I second the above review. I've read "Riser" and "Reaper," the first two parts of a tween series the author wrote. I'm a fan of books like the Hunger Games and Ready Player One, both books seemed to be aimed at that type of audience. This book, Alexis Tappendorf, is for different audience: young adventurous kids, lets say ages 8 thru 13ish (who really knows these days!). Imagine National Treasure and Indiana Jones, but with a pair of young girls at the heart of the adventure. There's also a good helping of wonderfully descriptive moments that really help capture the imagination and dreams of kids. The first half of the book, to me, was more about building the world, getting in to the characters, and um, a LOT of awesome hunger-inducing descriptions of delicious foods (Alexis really likes her food! lol). The second half is pure action and chase, protagonist vs antagonist to the max.
One thing that interests me about this book, that I'm not sure is intentional or not, is something very close to the heart of America right now. That is, a lot of the adventure revolves around Alexis and her friend wanting to find treasure to help their elders, who need financial help for various means. It's a touching sentiment and a sharp statement on what we need more in America: kindness and love, and a desire to help each other.
I found the characters to be complete, not one dimensional. It reminded me of the adventure books I read when I was a kid, like Treasure Island. If I had a kid, I'd highly recommend this read.
On a side note, the author seems to be pricing her kindle version more than fairly. I'm really digging this new era of being able to find all sorts of great reading materials for my Kindle.Read more ›
I bought this book for a night time family read. A chapter a night was my plan. But, of course, I had to preview it! Parents this is a great book to share with children of any age, as well as any adult. This is a fast-paced, mystery adventure that is entertaining but makes kids stop and think. I highly recommend this for any family
Totally enjoyable young adult story about uncovering the stash of gold that people have been looking for for years. The bad guys are bad, they've been that way for generations. But as long as you know how they think, it's easy to outsmart them.
Well! Becca C. Smith certainly knows how to capture her reading audience. What a great ride! This Young Adult book is a real treat. Starting with Alexis' stormy feelings against her parents for going off to do "research" of an unknown nature and in an unknown location (to Alexis), she is determined to play the "abandoned" role to the hilt, especially spending the summer with Great Aunt Mae, who she has never met and lives on the opposite coast. As they drive from California to Virginia, she has plenty of time to stew about leaving her friends behind and having a horrible summer.
Once Alexis meets her Great Aunt Mae, as well as Olivia, a girl her own age, things look more promising. Little does she know the exciting adventure ahead of her. When Aunt Mae invites Olivia's family to come and live with her because of her father's serious heart condition, things really begin to look up. Already Alexis thinks of Olivia as a sister. Hearing the story of a hidden treasure, a pirate treasure at that, and a cipher keeping the secret unsolved, the girls immediately start working on breaking the cipher to break the code and find the treasure.
In every town or mystery, there are always some bad apples, and in this town the baddest apple is the Mayor, supplemented in his quest for the treasure by his brother the Sheriff and using his son to spy on the girls. The kind of villain you love to hate. He is sure they have learned something he needs to know.
Alexis, working hard at the code, begins to think like her hero, Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, who looks at things from a different angle, or as Alexis says, "...outside of the box." Between the girls and borrowing Poirot's methods, their perception changes and clues begin to fall in place.Read more ›
Having read Ms. Smith's Riser books, I've become a fan of her work and eagerly await anything she does. This book was a surprise for me because it was not in the same genre as her other books, which showed me that she is not a woman to be stuck in any one category. But yet again, she has created a compelling female protagonist in Alexis and once again, this was a book I had difficulty putting down.
It is a mystery adventure like Nancy Drew used to go on and it brought me back to my childhood when I looked for female heroes that were smart, tough and brave. Alexis is a big Agatha Christie fan (as was I when I was her age...and still am!) and it was fun to read how she used Hercule Poirot for inspiration.
There are a great many characters in the book that are easy to cheer for or root against. The book never drags and keeps you reading until the very end. This is definitely a book I will recommend to my students to read and I cannot wait until my daughter (and son!) is old enough to read this herself and discover a wonderful hero.