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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Book Review: Conspiracy 365: April by Gabrielle Lord

Conspiracy 365: April by Gabrielle Lord
Buy Conspiracy 365: April by Gabrielle Lord

Conspiracy 365: April
by Gabrielle Lord
Conspiracy 365

Kane Miller
ISBN-10: 1-935279-53-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-935279-53-2
Publication Date: April, 2010
List Price: $10.99

Review: Cal’s high-speed chase continues in the 4th installment in the Conspiracy 365 series by Gabrielle Lord titled April. Fifteen-year-old Cal has been running for his life ever since New Year’s Day. After the bizarre death of his father, Cal is warned that he must stay alive for 365 days, and in doing so, he must try to decipher the Ormond Riddle. While he’s on the run, he must also come to terms with the fact that his family doubts him, his sister is on life support, and everywhere he turns another group is after him.

Cal makes startling discoveries in April in his quest to solve the Ormond Riddle. He finds help in the strangest places and creates a home that seems to finally be safe. While Boges, his best friend, works at his end to conduct research and maintain the fa├žade of a normal life, Cal comes across a few keys to the puzzle. Unfortunately Cal must put the riddle on hold when he hears that his mother has agreed to pull the plug on his sister, Gabbi. Gabbi’s only hope is for Cal to come and see her in the bleak hope that his voice can help to bring her out of the coma. Cal finds a way to get to the hospital, but in the end his life is in jeopardy. He finds out even more definitively that his mother thinks he has the potential to murder someone, and word spreads that the psycho kid has once again tried to kill his sister. With all of Cal’s actions being misconstrued, he returns to his safe haven only to find out once again that he’s been found. Cal continues on the run, and readers will have to rush to read May to find out how Cal escapes this time.

The Conspiracy 365 series is quite possibly the most ingenious series created for kids. To coincide with Cal’s countdown to New Year’s Eve, the pages in each book appear in descending order. Each book is packed with action, perfect for any reluctant reader! Plus, as characters develop, the reader is drawn in even more. Each person Cal encounters in his quest is unique. From elderly ladies, to bizarre teenage girls, and to ingenious runaways, there is never a dull moment in characterization. Quite possibly the only frustration with the series is that the books are only published monthly! One book takes merely a weekend to read, and then the reader must wait . . . . . and wait for the ultimate cliff hangers to be resolved. It’s not like other books in a series that might leave a slight cliffhanger at the end of the book. The Conspiracy 365 series stops completely mid-action once the last day of the month is over. Fortunately each book begins with a recap from the previous month so readers won’t forget. April is not a book to just pick up and read on its own. Readers must start at the beginning of the series, but honestly it’s worth it. The Conspiracy 365 series will keep readers up deep into the night hiding under covers with a flashlight! Watch out parents – your children won’t be able to put it down.

Review written by Margo Nauert (6th grade teacher).

We would like to thank Kane Miller for providing a copy of Conspiracy 365: April for this review.

Have you read Conspiracy 365: April? How would you rate it?

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