Name of Book: Stormbreaker
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Publisher: Penguin Group
Intended Audience: Ages 10-14
Note: Also available as a graphic novel:
Summary: When his guardian and uncle, Ian, is mysteriously killed, 14 year-old Alex discovers that his uncle was not a bank vice-president, but a spy for the British government. Now the government wants Alex to take over his uncle’s mission: investigating Sayle Enterprises, the makers of a revolutionary computer called Stormbreaker. Posing as a teenage computer whiz who’s won a Stormbreaker promotional contest, Alex enters the factory and immediately finds clues from his uncle. Determined to avenge his uncle’s murder, he follows the clues to an adventure the likes of which he could never have imagined.
Literary elements at work in the story: Satire, exaggeration, danger and short cliff-hanger chapters, make this novel perfect for boys looking for adventure.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story: This is the first in a series of James Bond-like adventures. Aimed at boys this will also appeal to girls looking for a new hero to admire. Alex is a “boy’s boy” having all the attributes a young boy wishes he had.
Scripture: Phillipians 3: 17
Theology: Heroes are a part of our life, our psyche. Hero tales are very powerful role models. A hero goes out into the world, overcomes adversity and returns to make his world a better place. What one should take from a hero tale is not what the hero does, but what is behind what he does; his motivation. Heroes should give us courage to go on in spite of the obstacles of life. Paul knows this. In this passage he sets up what we should be looking for in a role model. And like a true hero tale, he is not telling us to imitate him, but imitate what he stands for; his faith. Alex learns this in his adventure. His uncle was his hero and he strove to imitate him, but failed. It was only when he looked beyond the individual and to the task that he began to find out who he was and where he should put his trust. Paul is right; we must imitate and trust our faith as seen in others, not they themselves. Next time you are tempted to call someone a hero, look beyond the individual. Look to what motivates them. Then look, as Paul says, to your faith and see if their actions measure up. If they can live up to the faith of Christ, then follow them and learn. If not, run far and fast away from them.
Faith Talk Questions:
- What is a hero?
- Who are your heroes?
- Have you ever been let down by a hero?
- Have you ever been inspired by a hero?
- What has inspired you?
- Can you be a hero?
- What does our faith say a hero should be like?
- How can you be a “hero” of faith, religious or otherwise.
Review prepared by regular contributor Janet Lloyd
Stormbreaker by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.