Friday, February 25, 2011

Trackers by Patrick Carman

I ordered this book from Scholastics last week thinking it would be a great book to read for the boys.
This book is about a group of kids who call themselves trackers. For the last several years, they have tracked things that are happening around their city. The main character is Adam- a technological wizard. He works in his dad's computer shop during the day and surfs, hacks and explores at night. Adam is a genius- he can make and fix anything that has to do with computers. One of his specialties is tiny cameras that he and his friends leave all over the city so they can keep track of what is happening. Adam and his friends find themselves in various degrees of danger from a pair of hackers who are determined to bring down Adam and his reputation.
There are a few aspects that set this book aside from other books. First of all, this book is told through an interview session. The readers get to know Adam and his friends from the questions someone (an FBI agent?) asks of Adam. Adam retells the story of how he got sucked into a situation that quickly spiraled out of control. The interview aspect is quite interesting, you would think it would be hard connecting to characters when the story is told through questions and answers, but it really isn't at all.
The second part of this book that is different from any other book is that there are online videos that the reader can unlock with different passwords as you go through the book. The videos add a whole different element to this book- you can see what Adam is talking about and what he saw throughout his whole adventure.
For me, I found that part hard. I didn't want to stop reading to go to my computer and watch a video- although it is interesting, I like reading and getting the story that way. However, I can see how it would appeal to kids. This series of books combines videos, adventure and technology- not a bad thing in a book!

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