Normal Public Library Teens

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    206 W. College Ave.
    Normal, IL 61761
    Teen Services Librarian: Kristi Cates
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Alex Rider Readalikes

British author Anthony Horowitz’ series featuring teen spy Alex Rider is a hit the world over.  Read on for suggestions on more books filled with action and mystery

Spy High by A.J. Butcher

As students at a special high school that trains them to be secret agents, six teenagers struggle to complete the training exercises as a team before being sent out into the field to sink or swim. (M, S)

Thieves Like Us by Stephen Cole

Mysterious benefactor Nathaniel Coldhardt is putting together an elite group of teen outlaws, each with a unique talent. Patch is a one-eyed locksmith; Motti can dismantle any electrical system; Con’s charm is truly mesmerizing; and Tye can detect a lie with more precision than a polygraph. Under Coldhart’s watchful eye, this motley crew races from a high-tech underground conference center to exotic locations where they hunt for priceless ancient artifacts that may bring riches…or the secret to eternal life. (M, S)

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Charming but villainous young Artemis Fowl, eager to win fame and shore up the dwindling family fortune, runs up against more than he bargained for when he kidnaps a fairy.  Captain Holly Short of LEPrecon Unit and her comrades aren’t the fairies of bedtime stories. These fairies are armed and they’re dangerous. Artemis thinks he’s got them just where he wants them, but then they stop playing by the rules … (M, S)

The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer

Cosmo Hill longs to escape from the Clarissa Frayne Institute for Parentally Challenged Boys. When a rare chance to get away comes, he grabs it, but the attempt goes fatally wrong. He can feel his life force ebbing away, sucked out of him by a strange blue Parasite, until a gang of kids burst in and save him. They are the Supernaturalists, dedicated to ridding the world of the parasites. When they realize that Cosmo has the ability to see these blue creatures too, they enlist him in thier mission, leading Cosmo into a world of James Bond type technology, thrilling adventure, and finally back to a place that Cosmo ever thought he’d have to return…the dreaded Clarissa Frayne. (M)

Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney

Mitty Blake, late getting started on his Advanced Bio report, considers it good luck when he finds some old medical books in his family’s weekend house that focus on something he could write about. But when he discovers an old envelope with two scabs from a smallpox victim in one of the books, the report is no longer about the grade–it’s about life and death. His own. (M, S)

Runner by Carl Deuker

When a new job falls his way, Chance jumps at the opportunity, becoming a runner who picks up strange packages on a daily route and delivers them to a shady man at the marina. Chase knows how much he will earn—what he doesn’t know is how much he will pay. (S)

The Devil’s Breath by David Gilman

After learning that his explorer father is missing, Max is determined to find him, no matter what dangers may lay in his path. A secret clue his father left behind leads Max to the inhospitable wilderness of Namibia, where he soon discovers a potentially massive ecological disaster masterminded by Shaka Chang, a very powerful and completely ruthless man—a man Max fears may have put his father in mortal danger. Max needs all the help he can get. Because whoever is behind his father’s disappearance is determined to get rid of Max, too. For good. (M, S)

The Lab by Jack Heath

Meet a 16-year-old superhuman: Agent Six of Hearts. He’s the strongest, most effective agent in the Deck, a team of special agents fighting to uphold justice in a corrupt world. Six would be invincible if not for a deadly secret. He is the product of an illegal experiment by the Lab – a ruthless division of the corporation that controls his world. When the Deck begins to investigate the Lab, Six walks a tightrope between his two worlds, trying to keep his origin a secret. But then he meets Kyntak, a boy whose past equals his own.  As Six’s life spirals out of control, he must face his most dangerous, thrilling mission yet. (M, S)

Sure Fire by Jack Higgins

For twins Rich and Jade, their lives have just been turned upside down. When their mother is tragically killed in a car crash, their long-lost father, John Chance, appears to collect them at the funeral. He’s a bachelor who lives on his own, and it’s clear that Rich and Jade aren’t welcome. But when Chance suddenly disappears, Rich and Jade uncover the truth: He’s a spy. And now, whoever kidnapped their father is after them, too.  (M, S)

Silverfin:  A James Bond Adventure by Charlie Higson

Thirteen year-old James Bond cannot wait to get away from Eton, his stuffy boarding school, and visit his aunt and uncle in the Highlands of Scotland.  Upon arriving, he learns that a local boy, Alfie Kelly, has gone missing.  James teams up with the boy’s cousin, Red, to investigate the disappearance.  The clues lead them to the castle of Lord Hellebore, a madman with a thirst for power.  Despite unknown dangers, James is determined to find the lost boy.  But what he discovers in the dark basement of Hellebore’s estate will forever change his life. (M)

The Maze by Will Hobbs

Just fourteen, Rick Walder is alone, on the run, and desperate. Stowing away in the back of a truck, he suddenly finds himself at a dead end, out in the middle of nowhere.  In this landscape of stark redrock spires and deep sandstone canyons, Rick stumbles into the camp of Lon Perigrino, a bird biologist who is releasing fledgling California condors back into the wild. Intrigued by the endangered condors and the strange man dedicated to saving them, Rick decides to stay. But when Rick discovers that Lon and his birds are in grave danger, will he be able to save them? (M)

Raven’s Gate by Anthony Horowitz

As punishment for a crime he didn’t really commit, Matt was given a choice: go to jail or go live with an old woman named Mrs. Deverill in a remote town called Lesser Malling.He should have chosen jail.

A strange and sinister plan is coming together made in Lesser Malling, with Matt at the center of it all. People who try to help him disappear…or die. It all ties to an evil place named Raven’s Gate – a place whose destiny is horrifyingly intertwined with Matt’s own. (M, S)

Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks

Cadel Piggott has a genius IQ and a fascination with systems of all kinds. At seven, he was illegally hacking into computers. Now he’s fourteen and studying for his World Domination degree, taking classes like embezzlement, forgery, and infiltration at the institute founded by criminal mastermind Dr. Phineas Darkkon. Although Cadel may be advanced beyond his years, at heart he’s a lonely kid. When he falls for the mysterious and brilliant Kay-Lee, he begins to question the moral implications of his studies. But is it too late to stop Dr. Darkkon from carrying out his evil plot? (M, S)

Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

When Ellie and her friends go camping, they have no idea they’re leaving their old lives behind forever. But when they return home a week later, they find their houses empty and their pets starving. Something has gone horribly wrong. Before long, they realize the country has been invaded, and the entire town has been captured – including their families and all their friends. Ellie and the other survivors face an impossible decision: They can flee for the mountains or surrender. Or they can fight. (S)

Traitor by Andy McNab

All his life Danny Watts has dreamed of becoming a soldier. But there’s a problem: The grandfather he’s never met, army hero Fergus Watts, was a notorious traitor, and now family history is keeping Danny out of Officer’s Training school. Danny is determined to track Fergus down. But how can he find a man trained to avoid capture, an expert at surveillance and covert operations. (M, S)

Acceleration by Graham McNamee

Duncan works the lost-and-found in the Toronto subway system. One day he finds the diary of someone who is stalking women, preparing to kill them. When the police don’t take him seriously, Duncan sets out to stop the wannabe serial killer on his own. (S)

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship.  One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies.  It is only after Matt meets the balloonist’s granddaughter that he realizes that the man’s ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious. (M, S)

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

Maximum Ride is the 14-year-old leader of a band of winged kids who have escaped the lab where they were bred and tortured.  Now Max and her cohorts are forced to rescue one of their own from a pack of mutant wolf-human hybrids called Erasers. (M, S)

Sleeper Code by Tom Sniegoski

Teenager Tom Lovett suffers from a rare form of narcolepsy that can knock him out for days at a time. At least, this is what his parents and doctors have always told him. But Tom’s about to make a shocking discovery: He’s actually a sleeper assassin. His narcoleptic “fits” are cover for his horrific missions. In fact, his entire life has been a lie. The truth is, Tom shares a body with Tyler Garrett, a separate personality who has committed coldblooded murder without a second thought. Now, Tom is on a mission to take down the evil agency that created him. But can he also fight the evil within himself? (M, S)

The Gadget by Paul Zindel

Near the end of World War II, scientists in Los Alamos, New Mexico, are working on a project that will alter the fate of the world. Thirteen-year-old Stephen Orr is living at a top secret military base with his father who is a leading physicist building the atomic bomb. Stephen realizes the dangers involved when one of the scientists becomes hospitalized as a result of working with the project. The scientist alerts him to disasters that could come from The Gadget. Stephen feels it is up to him and his friend Tilanov to find the answers that lie behind this veil of secrecy (M)


Grade Level Interest
M Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).
S Senior High (defined as grades 9-12).
A/YA Adult-marketed book recommended for teens.

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