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Steel Trapp: The Challenge Hardcover – March 25, 2008


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See the books our editors' chose as the Best Children's Books of 2014 So Far or see the lists by age: Baby-2 | Ages 3-5 | Ages 6-8 | Ages 9-12 | Nonfiction

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 11 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 6
  • Lexile Measure: 660L (What's this?)
  • Series: AWARDS: Golden Sower Young Adult 2010-2011
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Editions; First Edition edition (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423106407
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423106401
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.4 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,552,035 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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 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 (www.rockbottomremainders.com), 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.

Customer Reviews

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See all 17 customer reviews
I am 13 1/2 and read this - the latest by Ridley Pearson.
CA Moran
Masterfully written, and one of the best detective novel writers (along with Agatha Christie) that I have the pleasure of reading.
Mary G.
I am so glad that I did... the story grabs you and keeps the action coming!
Emily Pennington

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By CA Moran 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: 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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By Mary G. on January 15, 2014
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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By Jason Shaeffer on 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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By megwis on September 4, 2013
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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By SALLIE PAGE on 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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