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TRACKERS by Patrick Carman

TRACKERS

Book One

By Patrick Carman

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-16500-6
Publisher: Scholastic

Fifteen-year-old technology genius Adam Henderson and his best friends Finn, Emily and Lewis call themselves “Trackers” (not hackers) and practice “missions” around Seattle using Adam’s high-tech gadgets. Mostly cameras, these gadgets are tied into his semi-secret lab at the back of his father’s computer-repair shop. When the mysterious Glyphmaster tricks Adam into solving a puzzle and then hacks Adam’s unhackable computers, the friends are pulled into a mystery that is more trouble than they ever imagined. In fact, Adam relates the entire tale in an interview with an Inspector Ganz while his friends seem to be in custody elsewhere. Really just half of the story, Carman’s first Trackers installment combines text with short videos and other online content unlockable with codes scattered throughout the book. Transcripts for the videos appear in lettered appendices at the back, as does the Glyph language Adam and his online friends create. A more successful multiplatform integration than the author’s Skeleton Creek duology, this still suffers from light characterization and a pretty dull plot. The website is darn nifty though, and young technophiles will probably make it through on the gee-whiz factor alone. (Adventure/novelty. 9-12)