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Home Invasion
By author: Monique Polak
Selling Points: "Family, crime, mystery"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Sep/01/2005
Lexile Level: HL620L
Fry Reading Level: 3.6
Pages: 128
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $9.95
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I was turning the corner to my street when I spotted the key. Because of the way the sun was shining, it glistened. Someone had left it right in the lock of their front door.

The house was a small red brick cottage that looked a lot like ours. I walked up the front stairs and raised my finger to the doorbell. My plan was to let whoever lived there know they'd forgotten the key.

I didn't ring the doorbell. I turned the doorknob and let myself in.

Josh is less than thrilled that he has a new stepfather, and finds his personal habits—and his personality—irritating. When his mother leaves town, Josh is left to spend a week alone with Clay. Resenting his new living arrangements and his unorthodox home life, Josh finds himself drawn to the idea of a "regular" family and, on a whim, sneaks into a neighbor's house to see how others live. When another opportunity arises to be a fly on the wall, Josh takes it and finds himself becoming bolder. Considering it a harmless pastime, Josh continues entering people's houses, until he is witness to a violent home invasion. Josh must use all his courage to save himself and bring the home invader to justice.
Montreal Review of Books - March 1, 2006
"The author's two ways of addressing the issue of home invasion are clever and insightful."
VOYA - February 1, 2006
"Reluctant and struggling readers will enjoy this fast-paced story from the Orca Soundings series. Short chapters, easily accessible language, and a swiftly moving plot combine to make this book and the series popular with teens."
Resource Links - January 1, 2006
"This book captures the thrill of spying on someone without their knowledge as well as giving tips on home security."
KLIATT - January 1, 2006
"A short little book with a lot going on; it will definitely appeal to YAs, especially reluctant readers. Josh's voice is convincing as he struggles with his family, his girlfriend, and other personal issues."
CM Magazine - December 12, 2005
"It's a good read! Recommended."
Hip Librarians Book Blog - November 1, 2005
“A tightly written [book] about developing new relationships, learning to trust, and taking responsibility...Like other Soundings titles, Home Invasion presents a realistic teen with a problem that lends itself well to discussion.”


ALA Popular Paperbacks, long-listed  US  2006


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Teen fiction for
reluctant readers

Key Features:
Short, high-interest novels
Contemporary stories
Compelling characters
Linear plots
Ideal for Lit Circles
Ideal for Independent Reading

Teaching Resources:
Teachers' Guides
Resource Guide
Accelerated Reader selections
Lexile levels

Paperbacks: $9.95

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