Friday, December 09, 2016

Guy Friday--Clayton Stone: Facing Off

Jones, Ena. Clayton Stone: Facing Off
July 30th 2016 by Holiday House
Library Copy
Nominated for the Cybils Award by Publisher/Author

Following his exploits in Clayton Stone: At Your Service, Clayton has established himself as an asset to national security and is approached to protect the president's son. In order to do this, he has to attend the prestigious Sydney Brown school and live with Captain Thompson, who is still injured from the previous mission. Clayton's exuberance works against him, and his first encounter with Kyle, the president's son, doesn't go well. Add to that a very competitive school environment as well as Clayton's lacrosse playing with the school team, and things get complicated very quickly. Clayton's new friend, James, is having his own family problems, which turn out to be a larger part of the perceived threat than Clayton could imagine. 
Strengths: I liked this one better than the first, and there is a lot of decent spy work. Clayton, of course, is incompetent but well meaning and hardworking, and readers who like Rylander's Codename Zero and The Fourth Stall will enjoy his antics. Serviceable middle grade title. 
Weaknesses: I'm more of an Alex Rider fan. I like my main characters to be good at what they do and not squirrely. 
25528665What I really think: I don't know that I will buy this. Why? The cover of the first book (at left) is abysmal. Abysmal. I don't buy many Holiday House titles for this very reason. I can't buy everything, and my students have to be forced to check out these titles. They would definitely pick up Facing Off because of the cover. Huge improvement. If At Your Service is available in hard cover with an improved jacket, I would definitely consider it. 

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