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

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Crocodile Tears (Alex Rider) + Scorpia Rising (Alex Rider) + Snakehead (Alex Rider Adventure)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Alex Rider
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (November 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014241719X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142417195
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

More About the Author

Anthony Horowitz's life might have been copied from the pages of Charles Dickens or the Brothers Grimm. Born in 1956 in Stanmore, Middlesex, to a family of wealth and status, Anthony was raised by nannies, surrounded by servants and chauffeurs. His father, a wealthy businessman, was, says Mr. Horowitz, "a fixer for Harold Wilson." What that means exactly is unclear -- "My father was a very secretive man," he says-- so an aura of suspicion and mystery surrounds both the word and the man. As unlikely as it might seem, Anthony's father, threatened with bankruptcy, withdrew all of his money from Swiss bank accounts in Zurich and deposited it in another account under a false name and then promptly died. His mother searched unsuccessfully for years in attempt to find the money, but it was never found. That too shaped Anthony's view of things. Today he says, "I think the only thing to do with money is spend it." His mother, whom he adored, eccentrically gave him a human skull for his 13th birthday. His grandmother, another Dickensian character, was mean-spirited and malevolent, a destructive force in his life. She was, he says, "a truly evil person", his first and worst arch villain. "My sister and I danced on her grave when she died," he now recalls.
A miserably unhappy and overweight child, Anthony had nowhere to turn for solace. "Family meals," he recalls, "had calories running into the thousands&. I was an astoundingly large, round child&." At the age of eight he was sent off to boarding school, a standard practice of the times and class in which he was raised. While being away from home came as an enormous relief, the school itself, Orley Farm, was a grand guignol horror with a headmaster who flogged the boys till they bled. "Once the headmaster told me to stand up in assembly and in front of the whole school said, 'This boy is so stupid he will not be coming to Christmas games tomorrow.' I have never totally recovered." To relieve his misery and that of the other boys, he not unsurprisingly made up tales of astounding revenge and retribution.

Anthony Horowitz is perhaps the busiest writer in England. He has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. He writes in a comfortable shed in his garden for up to ten hours per day. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he has also written episodes of several popular TV crime series, including Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most Horrid. He has written a television series Foyle's War, which recently aired in the United States, and he has written the libretto of a Broadway musical adapted from Dr. Seuss's book, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. His film script The Gathering has just finished production. And&oh yes&there are more Alex Rider novels in the works. Anthony has also written the Diamond Brothers series.

Customer Reviews

Have fun with the adventure.
Wes Swaney
I really liked this book because it had a lot of action, and it made me want to keep reading.
Tech Student
The series is good for anyone who likes adventure books.
Clayton Oney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 500 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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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After his last book I felt like he went downhill. Arc Angel was amazing, snakehead was great, this was OK. Something I totally recognized in this book as his care taker gives him gifts he gets a "Barack Obama baseball cap" which I found odd, but brushed it off, as it went deeper into the book part of the bad guys name was "Mccain". Coincidence? + I didn't feel as if this book was as good as the others, I felt it had a bang, but not a very good one. I was able to read it in about 3 hours, and in the end I felt this book didn't go as far as the other ones did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Savetheearth77 on December 4, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is a typical Alex Rider book. Its full of the normal imposible situations that alex gets out of. Whats great is that this is just as good as the first book. Unlike tha City of Ember or Pendragon books, this series does not get worse as it goes along. I would recomend this book to anyone. I suggest you read the other ones in the series first, but that is not necessary.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. L. Vesey on December 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Join 14-year-old Alex Rider for another white-knuckle adventure that has him nearly drowned at the bottom of a Scottish loch, poisoned by super deadly gen-modified plants, consumed by flames in a warehouse fire, and eaten alive by African crocodiles. And that's just a start. Not to fear, the boy-spy escapes with his life, but barely and fans of the series will not be disappointed. The only thing that bothered me was the attempt to Americanize the original British text. US dollars are perplexingly the accepted currency in London (except on p 331) and while the editors change "underground" to "subway," 999 to 911, and "crisps and chips" to "chips and fries," other common British words and concepts remain unconverted--"shingle," for example, in the sense of a pebble beach, or "fringe" for "bangs". It's still a good read and probably no one will be the wiser.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Judy K. Polhemus TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE 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! He is the organizer and disperser of millions of dollars that come into his relief agency which goes from hot spot to hot spot to aid people in dire circumstances.
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