The Challenge (Steel Trapp Series #1)

The Challenge (Steel Trapp Series #1)

4.3 25
by Ridley Pearson, William Dufris
     
 

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In this riveting crime novel, fourteen-year-old Steven “Steel” Trapp sets off with his mom and their dog, Cairo, on a two-day Amtrak journey to compete in the National Science Challenge in Washington, D.C. 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

Overview

In this riveting crime novel, fourteen-year-old Steven “Steel” Trapp sets off with his mom and their dog, Cairo, on a two-day Amtrak journey to compete in the National Science Challenge in Washington, D.C. 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 unwittingly becomes embroiled in an ingenious plot that may have links to terrorists. Federal agents (first seen in Pearson’s adult thriller Cut and Run) track Steel and his newfound 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 listeners on an action-packed adventure as they attempt to prevent the unimaginable, before it’s too late.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Steve Trapp, nicknamed "Steel" for his photographic memory, is leaving Chicago for a science competition in Washington, D.C., when he sees a passenger detrain without her briefcase. The attempt to return it ensnares Steel in a scheme to rig the lottery on behalf of a terrorist group, and gets him tailed by Roland Larson, the U.S. marshal from Pearson's adult novel Cut and Run. Pearson's smooth writing isn't enough to paper over the many illogical elements in his plot. Why do the Trapps take their large dog on a two-day train trip for a three-day weekend? Why has the boy genius, Steel, not figured out by age 14 that his father isn't a salesman? Moreover, the event that triggers Steel's involvement just isn't convincing: by looking through a tiny hole in the bottom of the briefcase, he spies a Polaroid of a woman gagged and tied to a chair; later, he is able to find the building where she's being held by matching its windows to the background in the photo. Pearson mentions some intriguing science (for example, the use of cell phones and microchip technology to make balloons fly) and the adventure has its moments, but his mystery gets derailed by a plague of MacGuffins. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)

Copyright 2007Reed Business Information
VOYA
Stephen "Steel" Trapp has a photographic memory, which is a blessing and a curse. On a train trip on the way to the National Science Fair competition, Steel unwittingly stumbles onto a plot involving a mysterious briefcase, a kidnapping, and the U.S. Marshals. Once in Washington, D.C., Steel and his new friend Kayleigh make more unexpected discoveries and are unable to let the mystery go. They begin their own investigation, which leads them into more danger, until Steel finds himself and a surprise guest in a fight for his life. Pearson does not sacrifice plot for characterization or literary nuances. The story moves along quickly, with an occasional short chapter and shifting point of view. There are conveniences that move the plot along as necessary in any good spy novel. Pearson pays homage to popular spies in tween pop culture, Alex Ryder and Spy Kids, by referencing them in the story. Students who enjoy the Alex Ryder books will find Pearson a solid entry in the kid spy genre, and those who are looking for adventure will be satisfied with the quick plotting, suspense, and eventual fight scene. Reviewer: Mary Ann Harlan
Matthew G. Skillen
In his latest publication, Steel Trap: The Challenge, Ridley Pearson introduces a unique character named Steven "Steel" Trapp. Steel is an inquisitive young man who is blessed and plagued with a remarkable photographic memory. Motivated by his father's love for science, Steel invents a device he calls FIDOE—the Fully Integrated Digital Oder Evaluator—and, his new invention places him as a finalist in the National Science Challenge. While on his way to compete in the science challenge, Steel quickly finds himself in the middle of a dreadful plot after he attempts to return a missing briefcase to its rightful owner. With his new friend Kaleigh, Steel attempts to put the pieces of this thrilling mystery together while trying to stay one step ahead of the federal agents. Steel Trap: The Challenge will appeal to readers across the board. The author's direct approach to mystery writing and the overarching themes of teamwork and problem solving make it a great option for both advanced and struggling readers. Reviewer: Matthew G. Skillen
Kirkus Reviews
Pearson's second solo outing for young audiences resembles his adult thrillers-sans all of the sex and most of the violence-even featuring Federal Agent Roland Larson from Cut and Run (2005) in a supporting role. On his way to the finals of the National Science Challenge in Washington, D.C., geeky teen Steven "Steel" Trapp (named for his photographic memory) finds himself in possession of a briefcase that contains clues to a massive heist being engineered by mob and terrorist groups. His quest to solve those clues in time leads to chasing and being chased by both the baddies and the Feds. With help from equally geeky accomplice Kaileigh, plus a number of huge contrivances, he stays a step ahead until the suspenseful climax. The author's fondness for cliches ("There had to be a way. There just had to be." "We're into this one on a wing and a prayer") and his habit of repeating information already given, keep this out of the top drawer, but it's a brisk scramble nonetheless, crafted in no fewer than 80 chapters of quick prose and featuring both a (fairly) credible crime scenario and an engaging cast. (Fiction. 11-13)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423338598
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
03/25/2008
Series:
Steel Trapp Series , #1
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
5.37(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
9 - 11 Years

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Meet 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.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
St. Louis, Missouri
Date of Birth:
March 13, 1953
Place of Birth:
Glen Cove, New York
Education:
Kansas University, B.A., Brown University
Website:
http://www.ridleypearson.com/

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Challenge (Steel Trapp Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I stumbled across this book by chance. I always have loved books with spies and/or terrorists. This book is excellent. The second book is even better, it focuses more on Kaileigh as well as Steel. All in all it is very good! Now go read it! For people who like this I also recommend Alex Rider and I,Q.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im serious! This book will hook u indtantly! U read it in less than a day! Couldn't put it down! Its not like i had anything more interesting to do. I was upset that I'd have nothing to read tomarrow. Then i realized...theres a second one! Read this!
Lizzy Smith More than 1 year ago
i loved this book and i did not know that their was a 2 one. its very intresting how Riddley Pearson thought of this. READ THIS?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The "Steel Trap The Challenge" is one of the most fantastic books for those who like adventures and action.This is also a long challenging book for teenagers and adults.This book was also very challenging for me but I still really liked it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not bad just not my favorite. Cool concept just seemed to drag to me.
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some_middleschool_kid More than 1 year ago
Steel Trapp: The Challenge by Ridley Pearson is a phenomenal book about a boy with a photographic memory. Steven "Steel" Trapp is competing In the national science competition in Washington D.C. when a woman forgets a brief case on board the train he is going on and he insists it is hers and then he tries to figure out and stop terrorists getting money. When I reading this book, it was really boring for a couple chapters but when it got interesting it got good. I remember one part in the book when Steel breaks into the brief case the woman left behind and saw a woman tied up and looked like she was crying. This book defiantly kept me up at the edge of my seat the whole time. This is a great action adventure book and any action lovers would love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
10 outta 10 is all that can be said about this book! best written book!
dodgeluver1 More than 1 year ago
My question is: if u hav photografic memory do u member when u were born????