Torched

Torched

4.4 5
by April Henry
     
 

When Ellie's parents are busted for possession of marijuana, the FBI gives her a choice: infiltrate the Mother Earth Defenders (MED), a radical environmental group, or her parents will go to jail. At first Ellie is more than willing to entrap the MEDics, but the more time she spends undercover-particularly with Coyote, the green-eyed MEDic that she can't stop

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Overview

When Ellie's parents are busted for possession of marijuana, the FBI gives her a choice: infiltrate the Mother Earth Defenders (MED), a radical environmental group, or her parents will go to jail. At first Ellie is more than willing to entrap the MEDics, but the more time she spends undercover-particularly with Coyote, the green-eyed MEDic that she can't stop thinking about-the more she starts to believe in their cause. When talk turns to murder, Coyote backs out, but Ellie is willing to risk everything to save her family-even if it means losing Coyote and putting her own life on the line.

April Henry, author of the acclaimed YA thriller Shock Point, pulls an issue straight from the headlines as she deftly explores what happens when good intentions get out of hand. With the environment a hot topic, this blend of explosive action and romance will make Torched a must-read for all suspense lovers.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

Facing time in foster care after her ex-hippie parents are arrested for growing and selling marijuana, 16-year-old Ellie assists the FBI by infiltrating Mother Earth Defenders, a radical environmental group, to gather evidence for eventual prosecution. She's accepted into the ranks after gluing the doors of a federal building shut, and quickly becomes involved with other missions, including firebombing a Hummer dealership. Her task is complicated by her growing crush on Coyote, one of the leaders of the radicals. After an unsuccessful mission at a logging site, the deadly side of MED comes out, and Ellie must balance her feigned fanaticism with her desire not to harm anyone. Most readers will have a hard time suspending disbelief long enough to go along with Henry's premise that the FBI could legally recruit a minor as an agent. Still, Ellie is a well-developed character with a crafty habit that reinforces the "reduce, recycle, reuse" message without becoming preachy. Her infatuation with Coyote makes her seem younger than 16, and Coyote's casual dismissal of her betrayal seems at odds with his passionate personality. Educators and environmentalists will appreciate the similarities between Ellie's adventures and the exploits of Julia Butterfly Hill, as it will allow them to engage in a discussion about endangered species, corporate responsibility, and logging. Teens interested in environmental concerns may find this appealing.-Chris Shoemaker, New York Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Sixteen-year-old Ellie is caught between two evils in this eco-terrorism thriller. When Ellie's aging hippie parents are arrested for drug dealing, the FBI offers a deal: If Ellie will infiltrate the environmental activist group Mother Earth Defenders, her parents will stay out of jail. Ellie can't bear to betray a group whose goals are so laudable-after all, who doesn't want to protect old-growth forests and the habitat of the endangered lynx?-but she'll do anything to keep her frail, innocent pothead dad out of prison. MED's members aren't so morally pure as Ellie would hope, however. Sure, gorgeous, blond-ringleted Coyote is a good guy, but creepy-looking Hawk advocates violence. Early attempts at exploring the moral complexities of extreme environmental activism get left by the wayside as Ellie's tale concentrates on romance and big explosions, but the thrills and action will keep readers interested as she navigates her way between terrorists and self-centered Feds. (Thriller. 12-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399246456
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
03/05/2009
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
HL710L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

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