Bound To Stay Bound

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 Project Alpha
 Author: MacHale, D. J.

 Publisher:  Random House
 Pub Year: 2015

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 219 p., [1] leaf of plate, col. ill., 21 cm.

 BTSB No: 593969 ISBN: 9780385386586
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Interplanetary voyages -- Fiction
 Competition (Psychology) -- Fiction
 Power resources -- Fiction
 Science fiction

Price: $17.21

Eight boys and girls compete for a spot on the space voyage that will search for a source to solve Earth's energy crisis.

Voyagers, Bk. 1

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.70
   Points: 7.0   Quiz: 176502
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 3.70
   Points: 11.0   Quiz: 68147

   Kirkus Reviews (-) (06/15/15)
   School Library Journal (10/01/15)
   Booklist (07/01/15)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 07/01/2015 Four boys and four girls, all 12 years old, enter a contest to stop Earth’s growing energy crisis in this exciting and action-packed sf thriller, the first of a six-book multiplatform series written by six different, well-known authors. Only four kids will be chosen to fly into space to find the Source, a material that contains enough energy to keep Earth from going permanently dark. The competitors include a wheelchair-bound girl and others from diverse races, cultures, and economic backgrounds. They’re all supersmart, highly competitive, and not necessarily likable. Dash Conroy is an exception and the only character to have his own chapter-length backstory. Perhaps not surprisingly, they have all been misled about their mission, including the fact that they won’t be able to assemble the Source until they have retrieved six elements from six different planets (conveniently, one for each book in the series). Readers are encouraged to go online after cracking the codes in the books along with the kids as they face dangerous obstacles in this fun, Jurassic Park–like space adventure.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A page-long promotional plan and an author roster that includes Robin Wasserman, Patrick Carman, and Kekla Magoon reveals 39 Clues–like ambition. This could be ubiquitous, so acquire accordingly. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 10/01/2015 Gr 4–6—In the very near future, Earth's fossil fuel supply is almost exhausted. Even mandatory daily eight-hour blackouts can only postpone the final catastrophe for a few years. The ultra-secret Project Alpha has identified an extraterrestrial substance that could provide unlimited energy, but the components lie far out in space. No conventional spaceship could bring back the mysterious Source in time to save the planet, but the highly classified Gamma Speed process can shorten the trek to a single year. However, no one over the age of 14 can withstand the metabolic pressure that the Gamma process entails, so the scientists conduct a worldwide search for an elite crew of 12-year-old astronauts. Dash Conroy desperately wants to be one of the squad, not only for the adventure but also for the 10 million dollar prize awarded to each member. But he is joining seven other semifinalists for the final testing at Alpha headquarters, and only four of them can ultimately be chosen. As Dash and his cohorts compete in physical contests, team exercises, and virtual reality combat, they begin to suspect that the Alpha project may not be quite what it appears on the surface. Moreover, there is a sinister counterpart to the Alpha group—and the Omega project has plans of its own for the vital Source. As the first entry in the projected six-book series, this title focuses on Dash and the Alpha team as they train for their mission and experience their first interplanetary adventure on the jungle planet J-16, home to carnivorous alien beasts; giant, dinosaurlike Raptagons; and the first component of the Source. Each upcoming volume will be written by a different author, in the manner of Scholastic's "Infinity Ring" series, and will follow both the Alpha and Omega teams in their dangerous race across the cosmos to complete the Source. Inserted "Visual Analysis" cards for use with the series' website will probably disappear quickly from library copies, but the online activities can be completed without them. VERDICT Quick action, snappy dialogue, and frequent touches of humor will appeal to middle grade science fiction fans.—Elaine E. Knight, formerly at Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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