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Steel Trapp: Challenge, The Kindle Edition

22 customer reviews

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Length: 338 pages
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Steel Trapp
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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 best-selling co-author ofPeter and the StarcatchersandPeter and the Shadow Thieves. He is also the author of eighteen novels, includingThe Kingdom Keepers, Cut and Run,The Middle of Nowhere,The Pied Piper,Beyond Recognition,No Witnesses,The First Victim,Undercurrents, andParallel Lies. He was the first American to be awarded the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction at Oxford University. In addition, he secretly wroteThe Diary of Ellen Rimbauer, which was a companion book to the ABC-TV production of Stephen King'sRose Red.

Product Details

  • File Size: 622 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1423108035
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion; Reprint edition (November 29, 2010)
  • Publication Date: November 29, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004D4YIL6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,628 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ridley Pearson (www.ridleypearson.com), 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 (www.rockbottomremainders.com), 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By CAM on 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 By KidsReads on August 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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 By Emily Pennington on 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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Format: Hardcover
I love reading spy novels - anything with international intrigue or the FBI or the CIA - I just devour it. And when I found out that Ridley Pearson had written a kid-spy-type novel, I was definitely intrigued. I've been somewhat of a backseat fan of Pearson after reading his PETER AND THE STARCATCHERS novel, co-written with Dave Barry. So I thought I would give STEEL TRAPP: THE CHALLENGE a chance. And I'm glad I did.

Things start out with a fourteen-year old boy named Steel Trapp, who is traveling to Washington, D.C. with his mother for the National Science Challenge. But when a mysterious lady drops a briefcase off on the train and then disappears onto the platform, Steel can't help but wonder what is going on. And soon, he finds himself swimming in a plot that could change the face of the United States of America forever - unless he can outsmart the people after him just long enough to figure things out. But with time sliding away and lives in danger, it's going to take a miracle to save them all.

I had read Pearson's THE KINGDOM KEEPERS a while back, and I must say, that book left me a little under-impressed. The writing had seemed to jump all over the place, never really sticking very solidly to the story. The plot of KEEPERS soon became so convoluted that it was very difficult to follow. I kind of expected something similar with The Challenge, but I was really surprised at the linear way that Pearson holds the story together. Things don't jump around out of control and hard to follow. Instead the story keeps moving right along, pausing here and there at the right moment to develop an interesting side plot with Steel's parents and their failing relationship.

The characters are fun too. There's Steel, who's not your typical Alex Rider hero.
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By Reacher Creature on March 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is my first book by Pearson, and the odds are I'll check out the next one.

Meet Steven "Steel" Trapp. He your average teenage genius, he has a photographic memory, and his mind is a steel trap, hence the name. Once he sees something, or reads something, he'll always remember it. He and his mother are on their way to Washington, DC for a Science Fair for building a robot. On the train he saw a woman bring on a brief case and stated to get off the train. Steel saw it, grabbed it and tried to give it back to the women. She said it wasn't hers, and left it there. That's not good enough for Steel, he can't get it open the regular way, so he came up with a way to open it, and sees a picture inside it, and his life is changed. It seems that some terrorists are after him. With the help of a girl he just met and US Marshals, he'll have to find a way to stop the terroriest, and keep his family safe. As the plot thickens, he finds out his father isn't really who he said he was.

Over all, it was an oaky read. I found Steel an interesting characters. I felt the mom and him argued a lot, and it didn't seem to fit. I'd have liked to see more of a cat and mouse chase between Steel and the bad guys.

Pearson has one or two plot twists that should keep the reader interested in the story. Is it perfect? No, but it's not a bad read.
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