Moving Target

256p. Scholastic. Aug. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545773188; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9780545773201.
Gr 4–8—Cassie Arroyo's life is turned upside down when her father is shot and she finds out that she was the target. When she must leave her ailing father's side—or face an assassin working for a dangerous secret organization called the Hastati—Cassie goes to her father's friend, Brother Gregorio, for protection. Cassie learns from Brother Gregorio that she is the marked descendent of Saint Longinus and only she can control the Holy Lance of Longinus (the Spear of Destiny). Cassie, accompanied by her best friend and Brother Gregorio's nephew Asher, decides to leave the protection of the monastery to find the spear and her father before the Hastati find them. Gonzalez has created an action-packed mystery that utilizes Christian mythology seamlessly. This plot-driven story wastes little time in character development and background, which may turn some readers off, but the pacing will hold most kids' attention as they try to piece out the clues alongside Cassie and her friends. A cliff-hanger ending will keep readers anxiously awaiting the next installment.
VERDICT Fans of Jude Watson's Loot (Scholastic, 2014) and Chris Grabenstein's Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (Random, 2013) will devour this series opener.

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