Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Boy Nobody, by Allen Zadoff

Nobody knows his real name, he lives alone, he moves around a lot, and is smarter than most people you meet in a year. And he's only 16. Benjamin, as we know him for most of the novel, is "Boy Nobody" - an assassin hired and trained by "The Program", an agency that takes out threats to U.S. Security. Benjamin has worked on several cases, but the case we follow him through in this novel is the highest profile yet - he's assigned to take out the Mayor of New York City, and he's got to get close to the mayor through his gorgeous daughter, Samara. This could spell trouble for Benjamin; part of the reason he's so good at his job is that he never gets close to anyone. Not really anyway.

Benjamin can sense that his "Mother" and "Father" (not his real parents, but his directors in The Program) are worried he won't be able to complete his assignment, but he is determined to see it through, no matter what the cost. He has a sinking feeling that he may be up against something larger than anyone knows, but he can't let those suspicions cloud his judgment. Will he be successful?

I LOVED this book and know that it will really reach some of my more reluctant boy readers - there's lots of action, just a little bit of romance, and the chapters are short, letting the reader move through the book quickly. My students love books with short chapters. There was one part of the book I didn't like though. There's some indication that Ben's real parents might still be alive, but it's never really cleared up. I wish I knew that part of the story. In looking at Allen Zadoff's website, it looks like Boy Nobody's story will continue in a series - I can't wait! The next book is called I Am The Mission, and is due out in June.

Here's a trailer for the book:

Also Try: Hero, by Mike Lupica

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