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Author: Smith, Roland
Pat O'Toole has always idolized his older brother, Coop, right up until the day Coop ran away from their home just outside Washington, D.C. -- now a year later he has received a package containing a digital voice recorder and a cryptic message from his brother, which will lead Pat on a strange and dangerous journey to the mysterious Community living beneath the streets of New York.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 172527
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 65501
School Library Journal (01/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (02/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2015 Gr 6–9—Fans of the "Tunnels" series (Scholastic, 2008) will enjoy Smith's latest. Pat and Coop were always close. Coop even let Pat help with his secret tunnel project under Washington, DC. But after an accidental gas explosion, Coop runs away. One year later, Pat receives a package with a recorder and a message that leads him on a mission to find and rescue his old friend. Smith spends much of the first 100 pages on backstory, though it is imperative to understanding the relationship between Pat and Coop had and why Pat is so motivated to travel alone to New York City to find him. This makes the pacing slow at first, but it increases dramatically once Pat makes it to the society under the city. The second half is better paced and action-packed. Beneath hits all the notes of an underground novel, with several allusions to classics such as Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth and H.G. Wells's The Time Machine. Avid lovers of adventure fiction will enjoy this quick read.—Patrick Tierney, Dr. Martin Luther King Elementary School RI - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2015 Pat O’Toole has always adored his older brother, Coop, the scourge of their over-achieving parents. Coop, with technophobe tendencies, a diet limited to tuna sandwiches, and an obsession with everything that lies below the surface, takes off at age eighteen and finally makes contact with Pat months later, sending him a small voice recorder and a post box address in New York City through which they can exchange messages. It works for a while, but when the messages abruptly stop, Pat lies to his parents and heads to the city to ferret out Coop. Spotting a man taking mail from Coop’s post office box, Pat gets his first solid lead; it takes him to an underground community of “houseless” persons with whom Coop had recent contact. He didn’t stay long, however, drawn even deeper underground toward a settlement of people of fearsome and deadly repute. Pat’s assisted by Kate, a girl from The Deep who claims to know Coop, and who sees in the two brothers her ticket out of the dystopian community in which she has been raised by her grandfather-a radical Weatherman from the Sixties with plans to wreak anarchy on the surface dwellers. Smith sketches out a couple of promising plotlines but never lingers long enough to develop them satisfactorily, leaving readers wishing they could spend more time investigating the living arrangements of the underground community, and needing more specifics about the threat from (as well as background information about) the holdout Weathermen. An ambiguous conclusion leaves room for a sequel, but the peril lurking just under the city may be the most rewarding ending for thriller fans. EB - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.