Ali Cross : Like Father, Like Son
by Patterson, James

Ali Cross is back in the gripping sequel to Ali Cross, the best-selling mystery that introduced readers to detective Alex Cross' son. In Ali's toughest case ever, his friend Zoe is in trouble after Ali and his friends witnessed a crime in Anacostia Park, and it's up to Ali to figure out why Zoe is lying to the police-and who she's protecting. Simultaneous eBook.

James Patterson is the world's bestselling author. The creator of Max Einstein and Middle School, he founded JIMMY Patterson to publish books that young readers will love. He lives in Florida with his family.

After disobeying his dad by attending a music festival, Ali ends up entangled in another mystery when his friend and potential crush, Zoe, ends up shot. Ali can't help wondering why Zoe appears to know the identity of her shooter but refuses to tell it. This time, Alex Cross, the famous detective of Patterson's adult series, is determined to keep Ali out of the spotlight but fails miserably as Ali enlists the help of friends to investigate all the people in Zoe's life-including her slightly famous music-star mother-to see who may have benefited from Zoe being hurt. Patterson does a good job of writing a fast-paced mystery readers can gobble up in one sitting. Unfortunately, the second installment suffers from the same weakness as the first: awkward chapters told from Alex's points of view, the sole purpose of which seems to be to provide information that no middle-grade detective could ever discover on their own. However, like all Patterson books, this one will fly off the shelves. Grades 5-8. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Ali knows about being a respected detective-his dad is the famous Alex Cross. So when Ali's friend Gabe goes missing, he fears the worst. A string of burglaries look like a child-size accomplice may be involved, so Ali wonders if Gabe is being forced to participate. When Ali makes contact with Gabe, he's warned to stop searching for his own good. Patterson may have forgotten his audience, as some chapters are narrated by Alex Cross-a character most readers are not going to recognize. These chapters exist as a somewhat clumsy device to help Ali discover things no young detective could realistically discover on his own (surveillance from street cameras, anyone?). However, there are highlights in Ali's first case, such as creatively using an immersive video game environment the preteens are addicted to as a way to communicate with Gabe. Ali is a flawed detective, often rushing into danger without thinking, which makes him more likable. If young readers can get past the dad chapters, they'll find much to like in this first installment. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Patterson's banking on the runaway success of his Alex Cross series to spill over into this middle-grade series starter, and with a hefty marketing campaign, he just might be right. Grades 4-7. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Ali Cross sets out to solve another case that hits close to home. Ali, son of Washington, D.C., detective Alex Cross, returns in a sequel to his 2019 outing that finds him in the thick of things when his crush, Zoe Knight, gets shot in a park. Middle schooler Ali is the closest thing there is to an eyewitness, though he didn't even see the shooter's face. Zoe knows who did it but strangely is keeping quiet. Still, Ali's knack for investigation and his connection to Zoe propel him to pursue the case with the help of friends. Themes of activism, gun violence, and police bias are explored, with various complex sides to the issues being shared by different characters. Ali's schoolmates become frustrated with the impact of gun violence on Black people and start demanding more accountability from the authorities. Meanwhile, Ali, the son of a homicide detective, finds himself in the middle of arguments about these topics while at times feeling his opinions are dismissed due to his father's profession. Overall, this is a solid follow-up that shows Ali developing as a sleuth even as he's a young boy trying to make sense of his world. Important messages regarding social justice are imparted, although the pacing sometimes feels rushed, taking away from the gravitas of certain moments. Overall, however, readers who enjoy stories of young detectives will be pleased. Ali and Zoe are Black. A fitting, socially conscious sequel. (Mystery. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

The prolific king of the beach read is back with an intergenerational mystery for the 9-to-12-year-old set. Ali Cross, the son of Patterson's most famous creation, African American homicide detective Alex Cross, is "starting to think the worst might have happened" to his mixed-race friend Gabriel "Gabe" Qualls, who disappeared on Dec. 21 and hasn't been heard from as of Christmas Eve, when the book opens. Ali offers an impromptu prayer for Gabe at the pre-holiday service at his all-black church as well as an impromptu press conference outside of it as journalists and paparazzi confront Alex about his alleged coma-inducing assault of a murder suspect's father. Then someone robs the Crosses' home that night along with four other homes; the Crosses' Christmas gifts are stolen. Ali, obsessed with finding Gabe and feeling that these events will distract his dad and the police from searching for him, starts his own investigation-complete with looking at some contraband footage of Gabe's unusually loaded backpack obtained by Ali's stepmother, also a cop-and questioning his sch ool and gaming pals, a diverse group. Writing in Ali's voice with occasional cutaways to third-person chapters that follow Alex, Patterson sprinkles the narrative with pop-culture references even as he takes readers through the detective process. Written in workhorse prose, it's an amiable enough read. (Mystery. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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