Ark Angel (Alex Rider Adventure) by Anthony Horowitz
June 1, 2011 in Book Club Possibility, High School Teachers, Horowitz Anthony, Journal Writing, Middle School Teachers, short story writing, Writing Skills, Young Adult Novels Tags: Alex Rider series, spy/adventure book, young adult novel, young adult series
*Young adult (although many older middle grade readers will like the series) spy novel
*Young teen boy as main character
*Rating: Ark Angel is an exciting read, and main character, Alex Rider, is a charmer. This isn’t a new book/series by any means, but I thought it time I pay some attention to the popular books for boys, especially.
Short, short summary: Alex Rider is in the hospital after being shot during his latest spy mission. While there, he is in the room next to the son of one of the richest men in the world. He befriends, Paul Drevin, and this is one of the first mistakes he makes in Ark Angel. When he overhears some men in the hospital looking for Paul, he decides to play hero and gets himself kidnapped instead of Paul. He is introduced to some eco-warriors who supposedly have it out for Paul’s father. Soon, Alex is invited to Paul’s home, and then the CIA want him to find out what Mr. Drevin is up to with Ark Angel, which is a space hotel created by Mr. Drevin. Once again, Alex finds himself in the middle of dangerous criminals and the men that are trying to stop them.
So, what do I do with this book?
1. Ask students to respond to the question: “So, what would you have done if you were Alex Rider and you were faced with the knowledge kidnappers were going to kidnap Paul in the hospital? Did Alex do the right/smart thing? Do these actions fit his character? What else could he have done?” Ask students to write about this topic and then share it in a group discussion.
2. This book has several unusual and remote settings. What are the settings? Why is each important? How does the setting affect the story and characters? Students can also discuss if the story were set in another place, the plot might change. Setting often works as a character.
3. Ark Angel explores the theme of friendship. Paul Drevin is lonely and needs a friend. Is Alex willing to be a friend? Why or why not? Does Alex have a lot of “true” friends?