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Extreme Danger: The Hardy Boys, Undercover Brothers    by Franklin W. Dixon order for
Extreme Danger
by Franklin W. Dixon
Order:  USA  Can
Aladdin, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is the first in a new Hardy Boys, Undercover Brothers series, in which Frank and Joe have become agents of A.T.A.C. (American Teens Against Crime). Dad knows about their secret identities, but Mom doesn't. Aunt Trudy lives with all of them, her role being to alternately scold and stuff food into the young men.

The story starts in crisis mode, as a DVD pirating operation closes down, much too fast! When Extreme Danger opens, Joe and Frank are parachuting, with sabotaged chutes. Our young heroes do get out of it, but you'll have to read the book to find out how. Frank takes home an orphaned parrot from that op, and it provides ongoing comic relief. Their new mission, which arrives by brick, sends the brothers to investigate Big Air Games, an extreme sports event in Philadelphia. Threats have been made to athletes. At their hotel, they meet skateboarding champion Jenna Cho, and Joe falls hard. They hang around athletes and events, their suspect list grows - and so do attacks, injuries, and threats to the Hardy Boys.

Aside from the alternating (between Frank and Joe) narration, which I found a bit confusing, I liked the presentation of the mystery, especially the Suspect Profiles, which summarize info on each potential villain encountered. And the ending is realistic - after the heroics and high adrenalin, it's back to real life and parrot poop for the two brothers. I recommend The Hardy Boys, Undercover Brothers as adventurous mysteries for early readers and middle schoolers.

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