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Steel Trapp: Academy, The [Kindle Edition]

Ridley Pearson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Steven "Steel" Trapp has been placed in an East Coast boarding school for gifted kids by his FBI agent father. He soon discovers that there's a clubby element of the faculty and upper classmen that is very secretive and protective. To his surprise, his friend Kaleigh arrives to board at the school and it isn't long before the two realize that this is not your normal boarding school. It seems a select few students are recruited, while still minors, to serve as special "translators" for the US Government. People—including diplomats and dignitaries—will say things around kids that they wouldn't otherwise dare speak outside of embassies. The willing student "agent" takes a semester abroad and ends up spying for his country. But there are dark elements at play at the school. Foreign agents may have penetrated the school's secrecy and may have sleepers in place: kids spying on future kid spies. There is conspiracy and competition among the elite faculty that threatens security. As Steel and Kaileigh are recruited for their first test run—trying to break a ring of pickpockets in a Boston hotel—things go impossibly wrong. Betrayal and conspiracy cloud what should have been a straightforward assignment. And all too soon, their very lives are in danger.

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—After overcoming terrorists in Steel Trapp: The Challenge (Disney Editions, 2008), 14-year-old Steven "Steel" Trapp returns in this second adventure (Hyperion, 2010) by Ridley Pearson. Steel's FBI father has secured him a position at the highly secretive Wynncliff Academy. The teen hopes to escape the "nerd" label which hangs over him because of his astonishing memory skills and is thrilled when his favorite adventurous redhead, Kaileigh, also enrolls. It's not long before the pair realizes that Wynncliff is not your normal East Coast boarding school, but a training ground for future spies. Each student has been recruited because of a unique ability, and Steel and Kaileigh are quickly given their first mission to destroy a ring of pickpockets. Narrator William Dufris delivers a straightforward telling with enough tension and suspense to hold listeners' attention. Pearson is setting the stage for an enjoyable series that will be popular with middle school boys. This volume stands easily on its own and is a great choice for reluctant readers.—Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Ridley Pearson is the author of more than two dozen novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Killer Summer, Killer View and Killer Weekend, the bestselling Lou Boldt crime series, and many books for young readers. He lives with his wife and two daughters, dividing his time between St. Louis, Missouri, and Hailey, Idaho.

Product Details

  • File Size: 876 KB
  • Print Length: 415 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1423115325
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion; Reprint edition (November 29, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004D4YIKW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,194 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sequel better than the first. February 20, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have been reading Ridley Pearson books since Dead Aim written under the pseudonym Wendell McCall.
This book is more like his "adult" books than the first one. Pearson added more descriptive details without "boring" the reader - instead it pulls you deeper into the story.
At the end of the 1st book you think Kaileigh and Steel MUST meet again, but wonder how. Then at Wynncliff he spots red hair that - yes! - it's her.
Of course they have to have an adventure and draw new friends into the ride. The other reviews speak to some of the action. I just want to let you know that this book is a great blend of adventure and literature. I can't wait for more.
Be sure to read the other Youth orieanted books - the Kingdon Keepers, the Peter books with Dave Barry, and the Science Project.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Academy February 18, 2010
The newest of the Steel Trapp Series, "The Academy", is exciting and wonderfully written. This series is in the genre of Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew when I was growing up and very appealing to all ages (I read before passing them on to the younger set). My Grandchildren loved both the first and now this newest in the series. Being a Ridley fan, I am proud to say we now have three generations of family reading his novels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Steven Trapp's photographic memory earned him the nickname of Steel because anything and everything he sees gets locked down in his brain like a steel trap. And while his talent comes in handy when trying to impress teachers or distract his mom, he doesn't feel it's enough to make him intelligent. But that's where Steel is wrong because he is incredibly smart --- ingenious even --- and definitely brainy enough to have competed in the National Science Challenge held in Washington, D.C. last year. That's where he met his new friend, Kaileigh, and where they somehow landed in a life and death international espionage adventure with the FBI.

Someone has taken notice of Steel and Kaileigh, inviting both of them to enroll at Wynncliff Academy, an exclusive east coast boarding school. Steel promises his parents he'll give it a chance --- at least until Thanksgiving --- and settles into the rigid routine of the demanding school. He doesn't have much trouble with the studies part of the program; like always, he reads something once and it's committed to memory. But the food definitely isn't worth writing home about. Steel was also hoping to keep his amazing memory to himself, knowing it jams a barrier between him and others, especially when he's trying to make friends. However, this is not something he can keep a secret. And soon he is asked to try out for a fast-paced Wynncliff team sport called ga-ga, in which his unique memory aids in his ability to play.

Despite his busy schedule, Steel can't help but notice some strange stuff sneaking around the academy.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WE were waiting for Kingdom Keepers! February 18, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My son who is 11 is hooked on Kingdom Keepers. We all have read them (adults and kids) and were anxiously awaiting number 3. We had a big plane trip coming up and I was despartely checking when KK3 would be out when I found Steel Trap and The Academy!

What an incredible read. It is quick, thoughtful, action packed and a wild adventure, yet it makes one realize how lucky we are in our own lives. The concerns of the characters are real. They are worried about school shootings and the like and must go into a tunnel. Think how scary tunnels are to a 10-12 year old and just that alone makes you realize how reaching this is for that age, or any age. The book aligns itself with today's middle school reader realistically. And while the characters have terrifying moments they come out just fine. What a wonderful message to our youth - Life can be scary, but if you think, act and have fun you ususually survive just fine!

My son says now rather tha just waiting for KK, he'll read anything Ridley Pearson. Funny thing I said that years ago the first time I picked up one of his "adult books"! Now here I am enjoying my son's books as well!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars likes Steel Trapp: The Academy! August 22, 2010
A Kid's Review
We find Steel Trapp: The Academy to be an adventure story with some Harlequin romance thrown in. Throughout the story, we are led from the viewpoint of a somewhat socially-awkward teen boy how it feels to be discovering his sexuality. His world is now interpreted with new realization of how the girls look, the behaviours of other boys, body language cues. The author accurately describes the confusion and feelings experienced when just learning how to relate to girls (i.e. pages 127-130). However, the treatment of the female character is typical Disney-like vixen who seems thrown in just to create sexual tension and never learns from her mistakes.

Determining the age-appropriateness of a story is not solely based upon vocabulary and sentence complexity. If this story were merely a stand-alone adventure of kids facing kid-like problems, perhaps ages 10+ would be an appropriate audience. But mixing in issues of sexuality experienced by teens then changes the book into one for an older reader.

In spite of some of these shortcomings, the book was well written and its main character, 14-year old Steel, demonstrates strong character throughout. It has underlying themes of citizenship, loyalty, father-son relationships and importance of family bonds coupled with sufficient action to hold the attention of reluctant readers. An excellent example of good character for teen boys and a fun read! See our full review at [...]and then join in the discussions on our blog [...]
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More About the Author

Ridley Pearson (, the first American to be awarded the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction at Wadham College, Oxford University, is the bestselling author of over 50 novels including, Peter And the Starcatchers (co-written with Dave Barry), The Kingdom Keepers series, and two dozen crime novels including: Probable Cause, Beyond Recognition, Killer Weekend, The Risk Agent, and The Red Room. His novel The Diary Of Ellen Rimbauer, a prequel to a Stephen King miniseries, was a New York Times #1 bestseller, and a ABC TV movie (2009).

Peter and the Starcatcher, a stage play adaptation written by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys) won 5 Tonys for its Broadway run and is currently touring the US.

Ridley is a founding member of, and plays bass guitar in, the all-author rock band, The Rockbottom Remainders (, with Dave Barry, Stephen King, Scott Turow, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., James McBride, Amy Tan and Greg Iles. The band has raised over 2.5 million dollars for charities.

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