The Terrorist [NOOK Book]


A terrorist’s bomb killed her brother—is Laura the next target?

Laura and Billy are all-American expat kids living in London with their parents. Charming eleven-year-old Billy wants to be an entrepreneur and is making a good start with his paper route and by selling American macaroni-and-cheese to his British friends. Pretty teenaged Laura is so boy-crazy she hopes her unique crush-ranking system will be attractive to college admissions ...
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The Terrorist

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A terrorist’s bomb killed her brother—is Laura the next target?

Laura and Billy are all-American expat kids living in London with their parents. Charming eleven-year-old Billy wants to be an entrepreneur and is making a good start with his paper route and by selling American macaroni-and-cheese to his British friends. Pretty teenaged Laura is so boy-crazy she hopes her unique crush-ranking system will be attractive to college admissions boards. But their carefree lives change forever when Billy is handed a mysterious package in a London Underground station.
In a heartbreaking instant, Billy becomes a hero and a victim, and his family is left to mourn his tragic loss. Her parents try to move on, but Laura is determined to stop at nothing to find whoever is responsible for killing her brother. She embarks on a journey of paranoia and obsession that won’t stop until she discovers the shocking truth.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Caroline B. Cooney including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.

Sixteen-year-old Laura, an American living in London, tries to find the person responsible for the death of her younger brother Billy, who has been killed by a terrorist bomb.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Accomplished storyteller Cooney's (The Face on the Milk Carton) latest thriller combines heartpounding suspense with some sobering reflections on the insular attitude characteristic of many Americans both at home and abroad. Eleven-year-old Billy Williams is an American boy spending a year in London with his teenage sister, Laura, and their parents. Bubbling over with projects, grand ambitions (including a plan to visit every inch of China) and a multitude of get-rich-quick schemes, Billy is as engaging as he is exuberantmaking it especially horrifying when, at the end of the first chapter, he is killed by a terrorist bomb in an Underground station. Thanks to the convincing storytelling and clever (if somewhat manipulative) plotting, it's easy enough to imagine the family's stunned grief and to empathize with likable (yet remarkably nave) Laura as she becomes entangled with a Muslim classmate's scheme to use Billy's passport to emigrate to the U.S. Gripping from the very start, the narrative becomes nearly impossible to put down as it races to its nail-biting though slightly far-fetched climax. Nicely observed bits of a London beyond the usual tourist spots combine with authentic details of the expatriate lifestyle (e.g., the American students' contraband trade in Hostess Twinkies and Kraft macaroni & cheese) to add plenty of local color to the international intrigue. Thought-provoking as well as a just plain good read. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An American girl living in London loses her younger brother due to a terrorist bombing and seeks revenge. "Thought-provoking as well as a just plain good read," said PW. Ages 12-up. (Nov.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
The ALAN Review - Connie Russell
Laura Williams and her younger brother Billy attend an international school in London while their father is carrying out his job of closing down factories in England. While the other students in the international school understand and talk politics, Laura has no interest until her brother is killed by a terrorist's bomb. Laura then becomes obsessed with finding her brother's killer. She suspects everyone except the very person who draws her into a web of deceit. Caroline Cooney has written a book that, as usual, holds the reader captive through the last page. Although Billy's life end abruptly, readers will know him intimately through Cooney's detailed portrayal of this eleven-year-old boy. The Terrorist will be popular with teen readers, and social studies teachers will find it a good base for discussion.
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Before her younger brother Billy got blown up by a terrorist bomb in a London subway, 16-year-old Laura Williams thought of herself as a typical, apolitical American girl who attended the very multicultural and multi-political London International School. But, she was really more interested in finding a handsome boyfriend than in understanding the complexities of world relations, customs, and politics. After friendly, outgoing Billy's sudden tragic death, Laura becomes obsessed with finding his terrorist murderer, and becomes suspicious of several of her somewhat mysterious international friends and classmates. Written mostly from Laura's point of view, the author also interjects short sections written from the perspective of Billy and Laura's parents and friends. This suspenseful, young adult novel is very well written, as the author manages to combine truly humorous examples of cultural differences between Americans, British, and other nationalities, while describing a horrible crime and unfolding a harrowing, compelling mystery.
VOYA - Rosemary Moran
Sixth-grader Billy Williams is a typical American boy living in London with his family for a year. His sister Laura also is a typical American kid-little interested in world events or scholastic endeavors. When Billy is the victim of a terrorist's bomb, however, she is horrified and immediately focuses on finding his killer, filtering her search through classmates, a cosmopolitan group from all over the world. One of them, an Iranian girl named Jehran, begins to beg Laura to sell her Billy's passport. As Laura learns more about terrorists and their causes, she also is drawn into Jehran's plan to gain entry into the United States to avoid an arranged marriage. While Laura tries to help Jehran and makes arrangements for her to fly to New York, she also is suspicious of Jehran's story. At the last minute, her suspicions overrule her heart, and Laura foils Jehran's plan to enter the United States illegally. But her speculations connecting Jehran to Billy's death never are confirmed, and Laura never learns who killed her brother or for what cause he died. As the reader is left to judge the outcome of the tragedy, Laura determines to get on with her life. Cooney's works are almost always popular with teens, and this one will be, too. The characterizations are well done, the terrorist bombing is taken from today's headlines, and the setting is exotic enough to add to the mystery, but familiar enough to seem real to the reader. The fact that a youngster dies and his family is left to handle their grief with no real answers is tragic and ambiguous yet realistic-there are few definite answers in acts of terrorism. Cooney has another winner to add to her long list. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
School Library Journal
Gr 5-10A provocative look at an American family living abroad, destroyed by a not-so-random act of violence. Billy, 11, a brash but lovable all-American boy, accepts a package from a stranger in a London subway station and becomes the victim of a bomb. His grieving 16-year-old sister is obsessed with capturing the unknown terrorist. An average student at the London International Academy, she alienates her circle of friends as she begins to suspect each of them. Laura, the typical Cooney heroine, is rather self-centered, plodding through life until tested by trauma. She and her family play the roles of well-meaning, but rather ignorant Americans, oblivious of the world in which they live. Plausibility takes a back seat to plot toward the end as Laura neatly places herself in the hands of the cold-hearted villain. Not since Barbara Parks's Mick Harte Was Here Knopf, 1995 has a deceased sibling been so carefully memorialized. Indeed, readers come to know the short-lived Billy better than many of the other characters, including the vaguely draw villain, whose motivation is never really clear. Cynicism rather than honor is the victor at the tale's conclusion; it ends not with a bang, but a whimper. While this book is not as gut-wrenchingly terrifying as Robert Cormier's After the First Death Pantheon, 1979, Cooney's fans will find it more accessible and even harder to put down.Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO
Kirkus Reviews
Fans know what to expect from Cooney (The Voice on the Radio, 1996, etc.): bullet-train pacing and entertaining prose. This accessible offering opens as Billy Williams, 11, accepts a package from a passerby and is blown up in a London tube station. The action is full steam ahead as the Williams family mourns and attempts to go on, except for Laura, 16, who embarks on an absorbing and obsessive journey to find her brother's killer. The novel isn't perfect: Laura's transformation from a self-involved "ugly" American abroad to vengeful paranoiac is fairly convincing, although readers may have trouble getting past their initial dislike of her and her self-satisfied oblivion. While most of the characters are as real as their grief—making human choices, and suffering the consequences—others simply fade out of the story, and the culprit is based more on a stereotype than on logic.

If the novel requires a few big leaps of faith, readers will be glad they stayed with it, and will be caught up in exciting, compulsive reading.

From the Publisher
“Exciting, compulsive reading.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Thought-provoking as well as a just plain good read.” —Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781453264287
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Publication date: 8/7/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 198
  • Sales rank: 243,256
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Caroline B. Cooney (b. 1947) is the author of nearly a hundred books, including the famed young adult thriller The Face on the Milk Carton, an international bestseller. Cooney’s books have been translated into several languages, and have received multiple honors and awards, including an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults award and a nomination for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. She is best known for her popular teen horror thrillers and romance novels. Her fast-paced, plot-driven work often explores themes of good and evil, love and hatred, right and wrong, and moral ambiguity. Born in Geneva, New York, Cooney grew up in Connecticut, and often sets her novels in dramatic New England landscapes. She has three children and four grandchildren and currently lives in South Carolina. 
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 46 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 21, 2012

    A very good mystery! I recommend it!

    The Terrorist is a fictional mystery/action and adventure novel which is about a girl named Laura who moves to England with her parents and younger brother Billy. After living there for a while they begin to like where they were living. But then one day Laura's younger brother Billy is killed by the explosion of a bomb that was given to him which was disguised as a package. All throughout the book after that Laura tries to find Billy's killer.
    I liked how the author revealed the characters throughout the book. The author was also very descriptive about the characters. I didn't dislike anything about this novel. I recommended this book to anyone who likes mystery novels.

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  • Posted February 21, 2012

    Good book if you like action/mystery books.

    The Terrorist is about a tragic terrorist attack that kills a young boy, and the quest of the dead boy's sister to seek revenge on the killers. The main characters in The Terrorist are Billy, Laura, their parents, Muhammed, and Jehran.
    I liked how the author kept dragging you along and made it hard to figure out who the terrorist was until you were near the end and by that time it was pretty obvious who the terrorist was.
    I didn't like how the terrorist attack happened at the very beginning of the story instead of more in the middle. I would recommend this book to people who like mysteries and action books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2012

    It was good

    This story is about a tragic loss to a family from America. Placed in modern day London terrorists kill a young boy in a subway. Sister is set on revenge, but an ironic twist is revealed toward the end of story. Gripping and entertaining, The Terrorist is a good read. Billy will catch you heart with his business man ways and Laura may inspire with her devotion. I didn't like the lack of serious action. I would suggest this book to young adults who want to read an adventure.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2007

    The best book ever

    The Terrorist is an amazing mystery by Caroline B. Clooney. This book is outstanding. It takes place in London where Laura and her eleven-year-old brother Billy live. There is an immense amount of action that keeps you on your toes wondering what¿s going to happen next. The book The Terrorist is based on Laura who is in devastation after her brother Billy is killed in one of London¿s subways by a package bomb. Laura¿s focus is on one question: ¿Who killed my brother?¿ Everyone of Billy and Laura¿s friends are a suspect to Laura. This book is really outstanding. It is always keeps you moving, making you want to read more. When you just want to stop you can¿t. If you get a chance to read The Terrorist, you should. I really recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    The Terrorist is a fictional novel by Caroline B. Cooney. The Terrorist was actually really good. It was filled with drama, and it keeps you on your toes. I thought that it was very informative and interesting. The setting is in the mid-90s in London, England. The major conflict of the book is a middle school boy, named Billy, is on his way to school in a train station in London and received a package. A stranger told him that one of his friends had dropped the package. Not thinking Billy ran off with package and then remembering that his friends didn¿t have a brown paper package, and then all of the sudden the package explodes killing Billy. After Billy¿s sudden death, his sister, Laura, who is in high-school is devastated and is determined to find the terrorist who murdered Billy. Laura was mind boggled that someone would want to hurt Billy. Laura then starts to think that maybe someone from her school had something to do with Billy¿s death. Caroline B. Cooney wrote The Terrorist is the third person point of view. She used a lot of dialogue during the whole book. She made the questions Laura asked people seem like a spy was asking the questions. Since the book was set in London, England, she made some people have an English accent in her dialogue. Even thought this book is pretty short I would defiantly recommend it for a book to read on your free time. You should especially get The Terrorist if you like drama, a little action, and suspense. You¿ll also learn a little bit about the different countries in the world and some of there history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2006

    It is so great!!!!!

    It is so great book for me to read. I really enjoyed the mystery/ action book. That book is full with suspense. Also it makes me to wonder what happened in the book and it makes me to wonder who kill Billy in the train.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2005

    A gripping drama that you cannot put down!

    The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney is an excellent story of an American teenager in London who's brother is killed by a package bomb in the London Subway. Throughout the novel, she goes through as many suspects as possible, including many at her own school. This is hands down one of Ms. Cooney's best works so far. There is just the right amount of suspense, and some juicy plot twists. The only small criticism is that the ending kind of leaves you hanging, ending with a sense of incompleteness. Other than that, this is a fasinating read. Bravo!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2005

    Billy the brave and the remembered...

    Wow, really sad I still liked it though because he saved that babys life he was very brave. This whole book is about Billy's sister laura trieing to find Billy's killer. Theres times where things get hopeless and sad but then theres times where she gets a big clue.If you like sad storys with a happy ending then you'll love this book. Like i said theres a happy ending dont worry once you've read it you'll feel as if its complete and cheered up.So try this book.Every book should have a chance to shine. (kinda depends though^_^)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2005

    awesome for kids who like long chapter books

    This book is perfect for kids who like long chapter books, just like I said in the headline. This is one of my all time favorite books. If I could I would erase my mind and read it all over again. The first chapter is kind of boring, but from there on it gets really good. The last chapter would probably be the best because Laura thinks that... oh you'll have to read it if you want to find out! The very last sentence would have to be the best ending in any book I've ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2004

    awesome book

    No matter how bad you treat your friends if they are truly your friends they'll be there in the end for you. Con, Mohammed and Jimmy prove this to be true in this thrilling suspense. Laura is devistated about her brother billy being a victom of terrorism that she go to great lengths to find his killer. Including ditching her true friends.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2004


    laura is trying to find the terorists who were resposnible for her brothers murder and murderers.this is a awesome story were u learn about london and terorists.i hope u will read this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2003

    a readers wonderland

    This book was a must for young teens and adults alike. If you like a good book thats hard to stop reading you have to get this book. Caroline Cooney is one of the best writers there is, and in this book she let everyone else know that. I highly recomend this book to anyone and everone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2003

    The Terrorist review

    The book I read is called The Terrorist. The authors name is Caroline B. Cooney. I think the Genre is horror. The story took place in London, England. The main characters are Laura, Nicole (Laura¿s mom), Thomas (Laura¿s dad), Billy, Jehran, Con, Mohammed, Mr. Evens, Tiffany, and Jimmy. Laura¿s brother died when a terrorist handed him a package with a bomb in it and she is trying to find the person who killed him, and she is trying to get Jehran out of the country to NY. My opinion is that the book was OK. I think this isn¿t a good book for younger kids. I read have a text-to-world; it is The Terrorist and 9-11. My text-to-text is when I read the book the unprotected witness. A person got murdered and the dad saw it and latter got killed. The dad¿s sun found the killer. My text-to-self is when Laura felt like she was being fallowed I have felt like I was being fallowed many times when I¿m walking at night.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2003


    I loved this book. I don't usually read but I could'nt put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2003

    Not as good as her previous books....

    The Terrorist was a good book. It was not as good as any of her others. The end didnt meet my standards. I think she should have gone on to tell what happened after they found out who it was. She has done Much better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2003

    Wow ! Amazzzing!!!!

    If you love a mystery this book is for you. Caroline's ability to capture the reader into its suspensful plot is amazing. She keeps you with your jaw dropped at all times! This book is excellent and is great to read!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2002

    the greatest of them all!

    i think a lot of people should read this book. it is fabulous! You should read this fascinating story ! I love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2002


    it was a great book and i think this book had a lot of meanings. i think caroline cooney is very talented in writing. she sometimes drags though. it seems like the person has too many thoughts. i also disliked the ending, how the murderer got away... but overall, it was an excellent book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2002

    This book was so sad!

    This book was so sad, my heart was just breaking for Laura. Even though I knew who the bad guy was before half the book was over, I really, really enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2002

    the worst caroline cooney book i've ever read!!!

    i usually love caroline cooney books, but in this one she kinda seemed to lose her talent! i dont know, but it seemed to me that she was implying that muslims are always the terrorists! i have a muslim friend, so i find that kind of discriminating. and while it has a gripping plot, it doesnt build up suspense or anything like in her other books

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