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Crocodile Tears (Alex Rider) Paperback – November 16, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–10—Alex Rider is only 14, but that hasn't stopped MI6, the British espionage organization, from recruiting him for dangerous missions. Here, Alex is enlisted in a seemingly quick and easy mission of downloading computer data while on a school trip to a lab immersed in the genetic engineering of plants. While there, he discovers a sinister plot involving a criminal turned preacher and philanthropist. As in the earlier installments, the book is chock-full of excitement and suspense from the first page to the last. It starts with a bomb at a nuclear plant in India, and along the way there is a charity black-tie card game, poison needles, car crashes, bullets, and exploding gel pens. Most of the backstory is explained, so no prior knowledge of the earlier books is necessary. Great for reluctant readers.—Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School, Loveland, CO
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Alex Rider, teenage British secret service agent, returns. This time, a wealthy villain schemes to make millions by creating disasters and then pocketing the money from false relief agencies. Alex discovers the bad guy’s plan to cause famine in Africa, but he is able to expose the fake philanthropist, although he is nearly fed to hungry crocs in the process. Horowitz's series remains on top of the growing genre of YA novels that feature intelligence agencies employing teenagers. He knows how to pace a thriller and delivers one exciting scene after another. Alex Rider fans will rejoice. Grades 6-9. --Todd Morning --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 0740 (What's this?)
  • Series: Alex Rider
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (November 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014241719X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142417195
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Crocodile Tears is an excellent addition to the Alex Rider series: fast paced, tense and dead exciting. It picks up two months after Snakehead. Alex is still 14 (although only just) and believes that he's completed his last assignment for MI6.

The book starts off with a bang (literally) as a bomb is exploded in a nuclear power station in India. The action then moves to Scotland where Alex is holidaying with the Pleasure family. He attends a lavish New Year's Eve party in a remote Scottish castle hosted by wealthy philanthropist Desmond McCain, who runs an international charity, First Aid. Alex is disturbed by his first encounter by McCain and wonders if there's a connection when shortly afterwards he narrowly escapes from what he suspects to have been a deliberate car accident.

Back in London, Alex is forced to turn to MI6 for help when a journalist threatens to expose his past. In return MI6 ask him to help them investigate the director of a highly secure GM research centre. Slowly the disparate threads of the story start to come together, but will Alex be able to pass on what he knows before the bad guys catch up with him?

I thought it was an extremely exciting story, a real page turner. It is slightly darker and more complex than others in the series: this is definitely "young adult" territory, although there are also parts which are highly reminiscent of scenes in the previous books. Alex is an appealing hero who is brave and highly resourceful. He has an uncanny ability to keep his cool when he's in danger and pulls off some impressive stunts such as catching a spear in mid air.

Here are some things that parents may like to know:
- There is frequent violence in the book (similar to the previous books in this series).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Judy K. Polhemus VINE VOICE on February 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have a few favorite series: Harry Potter, Paulsen's Hatchet books, Mitch Rapp, Jack Reacher, Det. Edward X Delaney, John Rain, but I think the Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz get my personal award as Favorite of Favorites.

"Crocodile Tears" is the latest and most thrilling entry into the world of 14-year-old secret agent Alex Rider. That's not a typo--Alex is indeed a secret agent and, in fact, was trained from early childhood to assume the role (although he didn't know at the time). He continues to work (for free) for England's M16. I must rephrase: He is tricked into missions for M16. His parents died when he was very young; his Uncle Ian assumed guardianship. Both father and uncle were agents. Ian taught Alex how to do so many practical things (that would later save his life times over), speak several languages, handle foreign travel. On the other hand, one could say that being a secret agent was a genuine talent for Alex, much as painting or music is to others. Being flexible is one ingrained "talent." An example: To escape a particular mountaintop location Alex had to improvise. The only way out was helicopter with none available. He used an ironing board to "sled" down the mountain. Another time he skateboarded down a pier and over and onto a departing boat, barely making the landing, but, of course, always making it.

In every book there is at least one villain, usually two working jointly to commit mayhem, fraud, evil, and violence on many innocent, unsuspecting people. In "Crocodile Tears" Desmond McCain is the villain--philanthropist extraordinaire and bad to the bone marrow!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Chantry on January 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Horowitz's new book is, like all the others, well studied, well written, and hard to put down. With his characteristic style of including every detail, Horowitz delivered another action-filled, fun, and thorough book. However, I can't help but notice how he seems to follow the same track. Sure the 'bad guys' and specific circumstances are different, and certainly the Bulman situation is unique, but overall, the plot was the same as most of the others: MI6 somehow uses an impossible situation to get Alex to do a 'quick, safe' mission, it turns out to be more, he does some investigating, the 'bad guys' find him out, he gets caught, they monologue to him, he saves the day. Honestly, I think it's time for Horowitz to give us something new, like he did in Scorpia. Don't get me wrong, the book is great, and it doesn't lack for action or originality, but a new general plot-line would be refreshing.
That all said, you can look forward to some interesting relationship scenes with Alex, Tom, Jack, even Blunt. Also, as predictable as the overall plot may be, Horowitz did manage to bring in a load of new and surprising aspects.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tech Student on October 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Alex Rider: Crocodile tears
By: Bob Gajusfuh
Alex Rider: Crocodile tears is written by Anthony Horowitz and is the 8th book in the Alex Rider series. It is an action/adventure book and should keep you interested the whole way. Although I think it is a great book, I don't think you should read it if you haven't read the other books in the series. I think that is good for 5th, 6th and 7th graders to read it.
Alex Rider: Crocodile tears are a book about an English teenage boy who again and again, even if sometimes he is reluctant to, gets recruited by the British CIA, M16. His uncle was a M16 agent who was shot and killed, and that is what got him to be a 14 year old agent for M16. The book starts with him at a grown up's New Year's Eve party with his friend Sabina Pleasure and his dad. He beats the host, A rich business man named Desmond Mccain in a game of poker, and then leaves. His car gets driven into the lake, and Alex just survives. M16 lures Alex back again, and sends him to a place that biologically changes plants and M16 has a bad feeling about in exchange for getting a reporter to not follow Alex. If you want to know what happens in the rest of the book, you'll have to read it.
I really liked this book because it had a lot of action, and it made me want to keep reading. If you like action books, I really think you should read this book. It will keep you captivated, and is written well. In fact, I really liked all eight books. A ninth book is coming out called Scorpia Rising, and a tenth book is going to come out called Yassen, but will not be directly related to all ten books and will not have Alex as the main character.
Alex Rider: Crocodile tears is a great book, and I think that you should read it.
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