REVIEWS - Newspaper Caper
Max Elliot Anderson
In the wee hours of the morning before sunrise, the three boys stumble across some suspicious activity. A tow truck begins to hook up an expensive car in someone’s driveway along the paper route. But when the tow truck driver sees the boys, he drives off in the truck, leaving the car behind. Later, Tom reads of a string of car thefts around the area in the papers the boys prepare to deliver. He begins to see a connection between the local car repair shop and the thefts. Developing his detective skills, Tom and his friends piece clues together. Where are the cars going? Why don’t the cops see the clues the way Tom does?
This is a fun, easy read for kids ages 8-12. Though Christian, the message is subtle and not heavy at all. There is excitement, adventure, with a few twists and turns for added fun. I will definitely recommend Newspaper Caper by Max Elliot Anderson to my daughter, nephew, and my friends with kids in the age group.
Newspaper Caper, written by Max Anderson, is one of the better books I have read. It held my attention with its exciting plot, well-developed characters, and a feeling that what happens in the book could actually happen to someone in real life. I would recommend it to readers between the ages of 9-14. Newspaper Caper is the second installment of the Tweener Press Adventure Series. This story revolves around a twelve-year-old boy named Tom and his two friends, Matt and Jimmy. Tom has convinced Matt and Jimmy that they will become the most physically fit try-outs for their school football team if they help him with his paper route every morning. One day, while delivering papers, they see a strange sight: a man trying to open a car when the key won't work. When the man sees the boys, he runs to a tow truck and drives off. The next day, while rolling papers, Tom notices a headline about car thefts. The mystery unfolds from this point. With its humor, mystery, and the reminder that God is always with you, this book makes me want to read the other books in the Adventure Series.
Reviewed By: Aaron Garrett - Eclectic Homeschool Online
Read all about it! NewspaperCaper hits the stands! The headlines should scream. This book is a must read! It begins: "Anybody who knew Tom Stevens was sure of one thing. The boy was going places." The author isn't lying. This book features a strong-willed protagonist in a thrilling mystery that is going places from word one. It is one of the better kid's adventure novels I have read in years with a non-stop, relentlessly driving pace. Every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, just like the good old days, but this is a smooth, intelligent story, and not the herky-jerky schlock we're sadly used to in the adventure genre. The lead player, Tom, is one of the most memorable characters I have ever read in this genre. He's a real go-geter and is in trouble up to his eyes, but he never flinches and plows straight ahead. The action does not let up and builds to an amazing finale brought about byTom's brilliant strategies and breathless, daring work. In fact this is the best story of its type I have read since The Gold Ogre by Kenneth Robeson, a novel of the Doc Savage series of the 1930s-40s pulp era, that also featured a group of juvenile protagonists.Newspaper Caper is the first in a new series of kids adventures by Max Eliot Anderson. The series is Tweener Adventures, billed as Christian but not overtly so in the text, and this premier book is a smashing success. It features streetwise, take-charge kids and is written for those sometimes disenfranchised, always aching-for-adventure kids scattered about Suburbia like so much collateral damage of the modern age. This series is a refreshing take on the Hardy Boys-esque mysteries, fully modern and unique in that each novel is a stand alone tale without the same characters or locations being repeated. I'm not quite sure how that will play out over the coming years, if there will ever be any recurrent themes, characters, or storylines, but regardless of the direction it takes, Mr. Anderson has set himself a very high bar for the rest of the series.I recommend this book for all school age readers looking for some adventure to spice up their life. They'll learn a lot from these kids, who run their own businesses, live up to their responsibilities, and aren't afraid to reach for and grab their own dreams. That regardless of anything else, is a great lesson to take to heart. There is one thing I greatly appreciated in these books. Mr. Anderson doesn't preach. He doesn't ram rod the moral and destroy the story along the way. He doesn't write down to kids. These are fresh, alive, and honest characters that leap off the page in an exciting world. Kids can truly relate to their lives, respect their choices, and simply sit back and enjoy the thrill ride.
Thomas Fortenberry's Bookshelf – Midwest Book Review
Reviewed by Kelli Glesige for Reader Views
Tom Stevens and his best friends Jimmy Wilson and Matt Woodbridge are 12 year oldboys who live in Rock Island, IL near the Mississippi River. It is summer, and the boyswant to earn some money, so Tom, a master salesman, talks his friends into taking onthree paper routes in the neighborhood which means the boys must awaken each day at4:30 A.M. in order to get the papers wrapped and delivered on time. He tells his friendsthis will get them in shape for trying out and playing football in the fall; all three boys’dream. A daily reward for the boys is their delivery at Big Bob’s Doughnut Shop whereBob generously treats the boys to orange juice and a doughnut each day. What a rewardfor a 12 year old boy!All goes well for the boys, besides the occasional dog chasing after them, until they beginto see some odd things happening in the early morning hours. A truck bearing the wordsSMITTY’S TOWING acts very odd and leaves quickly when the driver sees the boyshave noticed him, and he quickly drives away without towing the intended car. Soonafter, the boys learn of unexplained car thefts occurring around town.Jimmy’s uncle owns P.J.’s Auto Repair, so the boys begin hanging around and askingquestions, trying to learn all they can about why the mysterious truck acted as it did,thinking someone at the repair shop might have some knowledge about Smitty’s Towing.They boys learn about chop shops and what happens to cars after they are stolen and howreselling car parts is a very lucrative business. The boys are surprised to learn thatsometimes a car thief will make a deal with the car owner so that when the car shell isfound, the original owner can turn this loss into their insurance company and get paid fortheir loss. They learn the insurance company comes out the loser in this situation, but inreality, we ultimately all pay with higher rates. Deceit hurts everyone.Exciting times ensue for the three boys, and they see some strange things going onaround town; such as one person gets out and deposits his trash in a container, then alongcomes another person who takes the trash out and drives off with it! They encountervicious guard dogs, and they come up with some quite ingenious ways to subdue theanimals. The boys also learn of some resources available at the library that are helpful intheir quest to unravel the puzzle. While investigating some leads, Tom meets a little oldlady on a park bench near the library whom he learns has had her car, a last gift from hernow deceased husband, stolen. He promises the little old lady he will do all he can tohelp her find her car again, for she now must take a bus or walk everywhere she goes, buteven more importantly, for sentimental reasons. The license plate bearing the title“PRINCESS” is especially meaningful to the little lady. The boys get in several veryprecarious circumstances and the story is exciting! The plot will keep you passionatelyturning pages!This story is a great book for all 12 year olds, and I believe even those who find itdifficult to become engrossed in a book will find results here. Another item I liked aboutthe book was that the boys are aptly rewarded by the city for doing their civic duty. Ifound that in itself a good message to kids. Max Elliot Anderson offers a book with goodvalues, a healthy lesson, plus the bonus of a great and exciting story. It is a page turnerthat will keep you and your child fascinated!
The Newspaper Caperby Max Elliot Anderson
Twelve-year-old Tom Stevens is not your everyday pre-teen. As Max Elliot Anderson describes his protagonist, Tom is a preternaturally talented salesman. “When he was only four, Tom was the first boy on his street to set up a lemonade stand … in January!” Tom runs a thriving newspaper delivery business with the help of his often reluctant friends, Jimmy Wilson and Matt Woodridge. Jimmy and Matt’s reluctance stems from the need to be up at four in the morning to put the papers together and roll them up prior to delivery.One morning, Tom spies a tow truck that is about to hook up an expensive looking car. When the men in the tow truck see the boys on their bicycles, they quickly flee the scene, ignoring the car. In addition to being an astute salesman, Tom has a keen sense of observation and an eye for the unusual. When he reads about the spate of car robberies in his town, Tom puts two and two together and enlists his friends to solve the mystery.Max Elliot Anderson grew up a reluctant reader, even though he came from a family where reading was the norm. As an adult, Anderson realized that his apathy to the written word was because most books were poorly written with a dearth of action. He set out to write books that crackled with action and were page turners. The current book is a fine testament to Anderson’s quest. While the mystery is not complicated, there are ample chases and twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed. The characters are plausible both in their motivations and in their actions. Anderson keeps the descriptions sparse and focuses on the action. Readers who are making the transition to longer chapter books will find this book an enjoyable experience.
Curled up with a good kid's book
For middle school kids comes the new adventure series beginning with Max Elliot Anderson’s "Newspaper Caper." This series targets boys, specifically those boys who are heavy into the Harry Potter books. Their goal is to keep'em reading and to provide more uplifting material than the progressively darker Potter books.
Anderson's action-packed tale of three 12-year-olds who uncover a car-thieving ring while working their paper route is just the ticket. This demographic will love the fast pace,and the cliff-hanging chapter endings.
This is Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn if they lived in modern American suburbia. The next title promises more of the same: "Terror at Wolf Lake." Book Reviews by Heather Hunt
Heartland Review of Newspaper Caper
Reviewer: Bob Spear from Leavenworth, KS USA
Newspaper Caper is a wonderful mid-grade mystery adventure book for reluctant readers. Tom Stevens is a nine-year-old businessman who has talked he two best friends into working for him on his morning newspaper route. They witness, try to solve, and become enmeshed in a car theft ring.
This book teaches the work ethic, honesty and many positive values, while not preaching. The action is fast, and young people will quickly get pulled into the story. We feel this author is providing a much-needed resource for those readers who would rather not read if they don't have to. We rated it five hearts.
12-yr old Tom Stevens is a paper boy. A born leader and 'business man,' Tom parleys everything he touches into a money-making enterprise. "When he was only four, Tom was the first boy on his street to set up a lemonade stand -- in January. And, even though snow already covered the ground, people still stopped and bought some. He could just as easily sell hot chocolate on the most sweltering day of the summer if he wanted to."
Thus Max Anderson introduces us to Tom. With his two best friends Jimmy and Matt, Tom runs one of the largest newspaper routes in his home town. But Tom isn't your ordinary kid. His is an inquisitive mind and when he spots something not quite right, he is determined to get to the bottom of it.
That early in the morning, the boys often saw some pretty strange things: customers locked outside their house while retrieving the paper just delivered, not necessarily ready to meet the world - like a lady in curlers and green stuff on her face. But the boys instinctively adopted a rule of silence about what they saw on their daily route.
However, one morning, during their summer vacation, while it is still dark, the boys notice a tow-truck backing up to the car parked in the driveway of one of their customers. A man gets out of the truck and approaches the car, while in the cab sits another man. Tom gets a glimpse of him. He wears a light blue shirt with a nametag on the front and a patch on the sleeve. The man had dark hair. Though his face was hidden, Tom saw the name on his shirt -- "Jake."
But the man outside the truck sees the boys and instead of hooking up the car to tow it away he quickly runs back to the truck, jumps in and drives away with squealing tires and a trail of blue smoke. "That's strange," thought Tom. And the investigation is on.
Max says he really hated to read, and everything he tried to read failed to hold his interest. He wanted "music, action, and moving pictures…not just a bunch of words." So, he set out to write a book that he would like. NEWSPAPER CAPER is the start of an adventure series he developed will hold the interest of …'Tweens - ages 8-13, especially boys."
I loved this book - and I'm a girl! And I'm definitely not a tween. Yet this book captivated me from the first page. I think Max has done exactly what he set out to do - and beyond. I'd give this book SIX stars, if there were such a thing. Max, you're on the right track, and I wish you all the best!
Tom, Jimmy and Matt have a joint newspaper route, and the boys are up early every morning delivering the papers on their bikes. The boys read about a series of auto thefts in their neighborhood, and one morning they see a couple of men acting very suspiciously. They are pretty sure that the men are stealing a car. Tom sees the name Jake embroidered on one guy's pocket.
The same Jake turns out to be a mechanic at a relative's garage, and he acts very secretive when the boys are around.
The boy's adventures as they take matters into their own hands and investigate the car thefts are hair rising. They befriend an elderly widow whose car is stolen, and encounter vicious, boy-eating watch dogs and the thieves themselves at the chop-shop used by the crooks.
This story contains Christian concepts...God is very much a part of the boys' lives.
The characters are very well drawn and realistic. The plot is exciting and the suspense builds to a surprise ending. This thrilling story is written with the 8 to 14 year old reluctant reader in mind, and the kids just won't be able to put it down.
Tom Stevens is a born salesman who entices his friends to become entrepreneurs. Disciplining themselves to become the best football players means they have to rise early everyday in order to deliver local newspapers.
Their delivery route has its challenges which Anderson has the characters handle with robust and often hilarious responses. The plot begins to race along as they discover they may have accidentally become witnesses to a very well- planned car theft pattern that is causing grief to numerous people.
Realistically, Tom Stevens, Jimmy Wilson, and Matt Woodridge keep delivering their papers while discovering increasing evidence that proves the thieves might just be a little closer to their world than they previously expected.
It is Tom, however, who proves the most capable at carrying this mystery to its danger-fraught conclusion. His investigative skills are quite convincing and the reader will be mentally urging him forward as he comes closer to solving the crimes. His trust in God is contagious as he comes frightfully closer to having to do more than just watch an unfolding drama.
In a world fraught with apathy and resignation, Max Anderson presents another adventure that is sure to delight young readers who are looking for real excitement and hope that defies all injustice.
Neat job, Mr. Anderson!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal