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Steel Trapp: Challenge, The [Kindle Edition]

Ridley Pearson , Cliff Nielson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In this riveting thriller, 14-year-old Steven "Steel" Trapp sets off with his mom and their dog, Cairo, on a 2-day Amtrak journey to compete in the National Science Competition in Washington, DC. Steel is both blessed and cursed with a remarkable photographic memory--just one look and whatever he sees is imprinted for keeps. Trying to be a good Samaritan on the train, he instead becomes embroiled in an ingenious, international plot of kidnapping and bribery that may have links to terrorists. Federal agents (first seen in Pearson's adult thriller, Cut and Run) track Steel and his new-found science geek accomplice, Kaileigh Augustine, as they attempt to put together the pieces of a complex puzzle. Using Steel's science contest invention--and with the help of Cairo--Steel and Kaileigh lead readers on an action-packed chase adventure as they attempt to prevent the unimaginable, before it's too late.

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Steven Steel Trapp—so nicknamed for a photographic memory tight as a steel trap— is aboard a train on his way to the National Science Challenge in Washington, D.C., when he unwittingly runs afoul of a gangster with ties to overseas terrorist organizations. Steve joins forces with Kaileigh, a runaway, and the two take it upon themselves to rescue a woman they suspect is being held hostage. Now they just need to figure out by whom, and for what reason, all the while dodging meddling adults—from an overprotective mom and harried nanny to various federal agents—tripping over themselves, even as they stay one step behind Steel and Kaileigh. As the plot accelerates toward the conclusion, Steel realizes, This is just like Spy Kids! a serviceable benchmark. Pearson’s leap into the youth thriller market is less successful than the Peter Pan books he coauthored with Dave Barry, but this has imaginative plot twists, and is a kid-friendly take on a familiar genre. Grades 5-8. --Ian Chipman

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: 622 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1423108035
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion; Reprint edition (November 29, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004D4YIL6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,847 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book April 21, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am 13 1/2 and read this - the latest by Ridley Pearson. He is probably my favorite author. His books are not for little kids and not for adults, although my mom enjoys reading all of his, even my books. I think this is a super book for all kids, ages 10+ to read! It's full of adventure, fun and mystery! It is a quick read - I read it in 2-3 days going to/from school and soccer. It's hard to put down like all of Ridley's books. Get it! Read it! Enjoy it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Fourteen-year-old Steven Trapp's photographic memory earned him the nickname "Steel" because anything and everything he sees gets locked down in his brain like a steel trap. 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's incredibly smart --- ingenious even. He's definitely brainy enough to compete in the National Science Challenge held in Washington, D.C.

So now Steel sits on a train bound for the Challenge with his mother, his dog Cairo and an invention of his own called FIDOE. Like dogs, his computerized robot singles out a specified scent and then tracks it; FIDOE is short for Fully Integrated Digital Odor Evaluator. While he's not worried about the invention itself, or even so much his presentation (the speech is locked in his memory), he's concerned about his father. Originally, his dad was the one planning to go with him to the Challenge, but for some strange reason --- one that his mom refuses to discuss --- his dad was delayed while on a business trip. But Steel is starting to believe that his mom isn't telling him something. Are his parents heading for divorce?

When his mom walks to the other end of the train for yet another private phone call, Steel notices something. A woman who boarded the train with a briefcase is now leaving without it. Steel jumps up and grabs the briefcase out of the overhead bin and chases after her. When he finally catches up with her, she defiantly refuses ownership of it. But Steel knows he's right; the image of her boarding is stored in his mind. Why would she lie? Not knowing what else to do, he turns the abandoned briefcase over to the conductor, yet he can't stop thinking about it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read! July 27, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a definite winner! Ridley Pearson is just incredible! I started off reading his wonderful mysteries, then got hooked on the Peter Pan series -- the very best of his stories in my opinion!!!! Because I love his writing, I purchased this book too. I am so glad that I did... the story grabs you and keeps the action coming! I couldn't put it down! Although geared to teens, the book is a great read, no matter what your age. Enjoy! It really is worth reading! (Then try his Peter Pan books -- WOW!)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Steel Trapp: The Challenge... July 10, 2014
By Ms. Hoh
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read. Ridley Pearson is a very talented writer and his stories are always well-written. Can't wait to read the next book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars OMG! I love Ridley Pearson! January 15, 2014
By Mary G.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I got started on reading Mr. Pearson several years ago when our house sitter left one of his paperbacks with me. It was, as I recall, one of the first in Pearson's series of stories which were set in North Idaho (near Sun Valley.) Since I was born only 65 miles from Sun Valley, I was familiar with the book's setting. Furthermore, a gentleman I attended high school with was actually a character in the book! Further, Pearson's books in the Lou Bolt series are set in Seattle, where I attended the U of W, and where a daughter of mine currently resides! Once again, I am familiar with settings in the Bolt series. Masterfully written, and one of the best detective novel writers (along with Agatha Christie) that I have the pleasure of reading. M A Gokee
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ok October 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Good book very entertaining book definitely a page Turner surprise ending to me at least well that's all I have to say
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3.0 out of 5 stars more of a teen read September 4, 2013
By megwis
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not quite what I expected from Ridley Pearson. I'm used to more adult stories from him but it was okay.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected. August 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When kids are the focus of a mystery you expect the work to be some what light and see-through. This book had more meat to it than I expected. this is not a Nancy Drew mystery. I liked it enough to read the other in this series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend it. Great reading
Iloved it. Recommend it. Great reading.
Published 13 days ago by Teena Bowers
5.0 out of 5 stars I liked it because it was a good mystery and adventure ...
I liked it because it was a good mystery and adventure book. I liked it more than Alex Rider. The plot was good. It was a very interesting read.
Published 1 month ago by SN
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearson again!
I've read almost all of Ridley Pearson's books and love every one. This is a great mystery for young adults..
Published 16 months ago by Judith Zysk
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done
This book was well written and had a lot of action it it. I would recommend it to
People 10 and up

get the apps Tiny Tower and Angry Birds
Published 18 months ago by T. Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This was an amazing and exciting book to read. I loved all the interesting and suspenseful parts of it. I highly recommend this book!!!
Published 19 months ago by Kaitlynn Malone
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but what is Steel Trapp thinking??
I'm enjoying this book (reading it on Kindle). Fun, adventurous, high stakes, and an interesting set of protagonists. Read more
Published on October 26, 2011 by 1.5 Trick Pony
4.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Gift
I gave this book to my grandson as one of his Christmas gifts. He has since read the book and really loved it. He is looking forward to reading more books in this series.
Published on January 12, 2011 by Loha
5.0 out of 5 stars Steel Trapp: The AWESOMENESS
This book is one of the best action/realisticfiction books I have ever read. It starts out with Steel and his mom on a train on the way to washington for the science challenge. Read more
Published on January 8, 2011 by Jim
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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 35 novels including, Peter And the Starcatchers (co-written with Dave Barry), the young adult novel, The Kingdom Keepers, and two dozen crime novels including: Probable Cause, Beyond Recognition and Killer Weekend (July 2007). His novel The Diary Of Ellen Rimbauer, a prequel to a Stephen King miniseries, was a New York Times #1 bestseller, as was Peter and the Shadow Thieves (#1 for 6 weeks). Ridley adapted The Diary Of Ellen Rimbaurer for ABC Television; it aired in 2003.

Peter and the Starcatchers is to open as a stage play, off-Broadway in March 2011, under Disney Theatrical.

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, Amy Tan and Greg Iles. The band has raised over 2.5 million dollars for charities over its 18 year history.

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