There's a short (but rather boring) story that goes along with this one. I'd ordered book 6 in the series by accident through a Scholastic Book Club, and debated whether or not it was worth it to buy the first. I found it for less than $10 so decided to give it a go. I had just finished reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone aloud to my class and was looking for something short to read next, and we chose this one. It was a success!
When Chase Cooper moved to a new school, he thought his biggest problem was going to be that the only person he knew was his cousin Zoe. In fact, he ends up being recruited into a gang of Ninjas, and has to make several decisions about whether he will do the right thing or the 'cool' thing.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. I think if this had been much longer, it would have moved the rating down, but it was a quick engaging read that contained plenty of humour.
Age Suggestion: 8+. Although it's about kids in Grade 6 (11-12 years, there wasn't anything that was overly mature.
Ability Range: 9+. Despite it's short length, I do remember there being some more advanced vocabulary. So for younger readers, reading it together or using some strategies to decode unknown words, would be necessary.
Content Notes: My favourite part of this book was the discussion it encouraged about right and wrong. The Ninjas put Chase into some compromising positions, we we had some great class discussions about what we would all do if we were in the same situation.
I've ordered the next couple of books because I have a few students desperate to find out what happens next. When they're all finished, I'll read the rest of the series and post an update.