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The Power of the Pen

Adam Canfield Watch Your Back is an exciting adventure in news!

  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

The newest must-read children’s book by Michael Winerip, Adam Canfield Watch Your Back, is one of the most exciting fiction books I've ever read. I found it even more suspenseful than the first book in the Adam Canfield series, Adam Canfield of The Slash.

Winerip, who is a New York Times reporter, explained that this book reflects his love of newspapers. Writing it, he said, was "a great way to show kids how much fun a newspaper can be."

Adam Canfield Watch Your Back is about a boy named Adam who is co-editor of his school's student newspaper. He shares the title with a girl named Jessica.

The newspaper is called The Slash. You may think that is a funny name for a newspaper. The paper has that title because of its school's name, Harris Elementary/Middle School. Get it: elementary [slash] middle school?

Adam and Jessica team up to do something almost impossible for kids to accomplish—to make peace in the community, peace at school, and peace at home. Will they complete this goal? You must read this thriller to find out.

Adam Canfield is as over-programmed a student as you can get. He plays on recreation teams and participates in many of the clubs at school. He is a key reporter for the newspaper. The Slash reporters are the very best. They can dig up dirt on anything they want to find out. That is why everyone reads The Slash.

Adam Canfield Watch Your Back book cover
Cover of Michael Winerip's new book, Adam Canfield Watch Your Back. (Photo: Courtesy Candlewick Press)

A year earlier, Adam and Jessica dug up some very interesting things about their principal, Mrs. Morris, and what she did with money donated to the school. Their article caused Mrs. Morris to be fired.

Now there's a new villain, Mrs. Boland, who is trying to rip up most of the basketball courts in Tremble County. Mrs. Boland wants all of the Willow Community to move out so she can build Boland Estates. She won't give up until Tremble County is an example of the best area to live in the nation. What can Adam do to stop Mrs. Boland?

Michael Winerip told Scholastic News that the story has a moral.

"Make good ethical decisions, and that words sometimes give you a lot of power," he said.

I think kids my age will learn how powerful a pen can be after reading this book. 

READY, SET, READ! 

Do you need help picking out what book to read next? Let Scholastic News Online be your guide! Find out what Kid Reporters are saying about all the latest books by reading their book reviews in this special report.

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Scholastic Kids Press Corps

The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of 32 student reporters who report "news for kids, by kids." Sports, politics, and entertainment are among the topics they cover.