At a karate tournament, Hazmat loses his match but scores his first date. But as a member of the Recon Academy, this forensics expert has more to worry about than what to wear. The evil Shadow Cell squadron has broken into the city’s nuclear power plant. If the Recon Academy doesn’t hurry, a massive meltdown might ruin Hazmat’s big night.
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Chris Everheart always dreamed of interesting places, fascinating people, and exciting adventures. He is still a dreamer. He enjoys writing thrilling stories about young heroes who live in a world that doesn’t always understand them. Chris lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his family. He plans to travel to every continent on the globe, see interesting places, meet fascinating people, and have exciting adventures.
As a lifelong comics fan, Sean O'Reilly dreamed of becoming a comic book creator. In 2004, he realized that dream by creating Arcana Studio. In once short year, O'Reilly took his studio from a one-person operation in his basement to an award-winning comic book publisher with more than 150 graphic novels produced for Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Scholastic, and others. Within a year, the company won many awards including the Shuster Award for Outstanding Publisher and the Moonbeam Award for top children's graphic novel. O'Reilly also won the Top 40 Under 40 award from the city of Vancouver and authored "The Clockwork Girl" for Top Graphic Novel at Book Expo America in 2009. Currently, O'Reilly is one of the most prolific independent comic book writers in Canada. While showing no signs of slowing down in comics, he now writes screenplays and adapts his creations for the big screen.
Grade 4-7–Four high school students become friends and create a special security force to save the world, called Recon Academy. Nuclear Distraction introduces Hazmat, whose special abilities include ballistics, toxicology, and fingerprint analysis. With his forensic skills, he tracks the bad Shadow Cell team through a nuclear plant and recovers the data they were stealing. Shadow Cell Scam begins with each team member being given a free laptop that soon explodes, sending them out to protect the Navy launch of a spy satellite and getting them in trouble with their families for blowing up the kitchen. This time, Emmi's martial-arts skills save the day. The illustrations are done in an Americanized anime style with four to eight frames per page. There are additional graphic pages with data, and each title ends with a profile of the main character and some instant chat among the team members. The story and dialogue are appropriate for younger children and will also appeal to older reluctant readers. There are enough technological details to maintain interest, but not much background or character development. The theme of teamwork is clear, as each student uses a talent to help accomplish the task.–Sharon R. Pearce, Longfellow Elementary School, Oak Park, IL END
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