Middle School / Books Rule!
Recommended books for grades 5-8

CATALYST, by S.J. Kincaid

Catalyst

The story: In the final book of the awesome “Insignia” trilogy, Tom Raines goes man-to-man against Vengerov, the evil chairman of Obsidian Corp who’s planning to take over the world by sneaking neural processors into EVERYONE’S brain. Vengerov has thought up the perfect way to defeat Tom, and it’s up to the one person Tom never expected to trust to help him beat the bad guys and change the world in unimaginable ways. Can Tom Raines the Nobody actually be the one destined to bring down the corrupt world of the multi-nationals and start it over with something shiny?

Mrs. Friend’s opinion: Here’s a really great science-fiction series for 8th-up (or really good 7th grade readers of the sci-fi persuasion). The final book focuses more specifically on Tom and much less on his friends as our hero tries to find out who’s stolen his secret identity as “The Ghost in the Machine” and is now using it for evil, and on Tom’s figuring out his relationships with Blackburn and Vengerov (and of course, Medusa). We kind of miss Tom’s friends, especially Vik, but Kincaid is on a mission here, and she accomplishes it nicely.

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