Adventure

Note: Hot pepper ratings based on grade level expectations.
 



Tintin, a reporter for Le Petit Vingtieme, and his dog Snowy are sent on assignment to the Soviet Union. Departing from Brussels, his train is blown up en route to Moscow by an agent of the Soviet secret police, the OGPU. Tintin survives and is blamed by the authorities in Berlin for the "accident". He is put in jail and even taken to a torture chamber, but wrings his way out by deceit and disguise. He then steals a car and goes through several adventures before eventually reaching Moscow. In observing a Soviet election, Tintin finds that the Communists make people vote for their list by pointing guns at them, and that apparently productive factories are just hollow shells intended to fool foreign visitors (British communists) by burning hay to produce smoke and hitting a large sheet of corrugated iron to imitate the sound of machinery. In wandering the streets of Moscow, he discovers that Soviet authorities hand out bread to starving children only if they declare themselves Communists; if they fail to do so, the children are beaten. Due to the bulk of Russia's wheat crop being exported for Soviet propaganda purposes, Moscow is experiencing severe famine. Thus, the Communist leadership plans to pillage productive farms. Tintin manages to save several kulaks by warning them of the approaching troops, but is again captured. Escaping across the snowy wastes, Tintin stumbles upon the secret cache of riches that Stalin, Lenin and Trotsky have stolen from the Soviet people, such as vodka and caviar. Armed with this knowledge, he flees Russia via airplane, landing in Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, where he has a final encounter with OGPU agents who attempt to dispose of him before he can reveal what he has seen in the U.S.S.R. Finally returning to Belgium, he is greeted with great pomp by the rapturous public, arriving to a tremendous reception in the Grand Place in Brussels.

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This book is considered relatively easy. 




 
To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary fourteen-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette’s syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers.

Michael thinks he's unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children – and through them the world. Michael will have to rely on his wits, powers, and friends if he’s to survive.

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This book is considered relatively easy. 

 







Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born ...

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This book is considered average difficulty.

 



 
The earth is in the middle of WWIII in Insignia, the first entry in S. J. Kincaid's fast-paced sci-fi adventure trilogy perfect for fans of Ender's Game.

The planet's natural resources are almost gone, and war is being fought to control the assets of the solar system. The enemy is winning. The salvation may be Tom Raines. Tom doesn't seem like a hero. He's a short fourteen-year-old with bad skin. But he has the virtual-reality gaming skills that make him a phenom behind the controls of the battle drones.

As a new member of the Intrasolar Forces, Tom's life completely changes. Suddenly, he's someone important. He has new opportunities, friends, and a shot at having a girlfriend. But there's a price to pay. . . 

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This book is considered average difficulty.



 
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is the first of Mark Twain's novels to feature one of the best-loved characters in American fiction, with a critical introduction by John Seelye in Penguin Classics. From the famous episodes of the whitewashed fence and the ordeal in the cave to the trial of Injun Joe, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is redolent of life in the Mississippi River towns in which Twain spent his own youth. A sombre undercurrent flows through the high humour and unabashed nostalgia of the novel, however, for beneath the innocence of childhood lie the inequities of adult reality - base emotions and superstitions, murder and revenge, starvation and slavery. .

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This book is considered average difficulty.
 

 
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. 

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

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This book is considered difficult. 
 

 
Lavish wealth and appalling poverty live side by side in Victorian London -- and Edward Pierce easily navigates both worlds. Rich, handsome, and ingenious, he charms the city's most prominent citizens even as he plots the crime of his century, the daring theft of a fortune in gold. But even Pierce could not predict the consequences of an extraordinary robbery that targets the pride of England's industrial era: the mighty steam locomotive. 

Based on remarkable fact, and alive with the gripping suspense, surprise, and authenticity that are his trademarks, Michael Crichton's classic adventure is a breathtaking thrill-ride that races along tracks of steel at breakneck speed.

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This book is considered difficult.