Parents' Guide to

Under the Radar (Tom Swift, Young Inventor, Book 6)

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Adventure series is formulaic but satisfying.

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Though no one's definition of great literature, this book, like the others in the series, is fun, exciting, reasonably well-written, and the stuff of boyhood fantasies. The stories highlight positive values such as the benefits of brains, learning, and hard work. While adults may be contemptuous of the books' formulaic simplicity, they can be the launching pad for a lifelong love of reading -- and science.

Through four previous series, teen scientist/inventor/adventurer Tom Swift -- packaged by a syndicate under the pseudonym Victor Appleton -- has thrilled readers with his brilliance and derring-do. Tom has always been the geek's hero, combining the demeanor of a Boy Scout, the exploits of a reckless adventurer, and the soul of a scientist. In this fifth series, the stories are told for the first time in first person, and they've been updated (cell phones figure prominently, and Tom addresses the reader as "dude"). But perhaps the most significant change is that the enemy is TRB, a terrorist group opposed to technology.

Book Details

  • Author: Victor Appleton
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: October 7, 2007
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
  • Number of pages: 146
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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