Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25, Author: Richard Paul Evans. Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink, 2011; 326 pages. For advanced readers. Fiction-Magical Realism.
This book was the 2016 Vinny Award Winner, an award given by the 7th & 8th grade students of Faith Christian School to the winner of our Book March Madness contest.
Do you have a reluctant reader? If there is one book I can choose to offer to one of my reluctant readers, this is the one. I have gone through several copies of these books because they are so heavily read by our students. Former students who have been out of my classroom for four or five years come back and ask for the next book in the series when it comes out. Younger students ask their brothers or sisters in my classroom to take the books home so they can read them. None of the books in this series collect any dust over the summer on my shelves in the classroom. They have been read over summer vacation and have been taken on trips by a number of my current and former students.
Richard Paul Evans has always written for the adult crowd with best sellers like The Christmas Box. I initially thought his foray into children’s literature was a bit strange, but once I read the book, I was hooked! In fact, I have seen groups in the education industry who do not normally endorse books give many positive reviews to Michael Vey.
All of the Michael Vey books are set in the present day world. What makes Michael and some of his friends special is that they have electrical powers. As babies, they were exposed to certain machines that gave them these special electrical powers. Michael didn’t fully understand how to use these powers until he was in high school which is where the book starts out. Some of his other electrical friends have been found by the evil Dr. Hatch who is using the kid’s powers for his own purposes while giving them a lavish lifestyle that keeps them happy. After Michael is captured by Dr. Hatch, Michael has a choice, join his evil group or fight him. There are a variety of likable characters in the book and as the series progresses some are lost and new ones are gained.
Currently, there are six books in the series with the seventh, coming out in September of 2017, supposedly the final book. Hopefully, the love of the book expressed through the actions of my students is enough to get you to read the book without giving away any more of the story. I’m glad this book was our first Vinny Award Winner, I can’t wait for book seven, and looking over my current stash of Michael Vey books, I’m going to need to replace a couple more before next year.