If you’ve read James Patterson’s other books, chances are you’re not a kid. Unless, of course, you’ve been reading his Maximum Ride series, the newest of which recently hit shelves. For those who don’t know, the series follows a group of kids (the “flock”) who live in the not-too-distant future and possess bird-like qualities – such as the ability to fly. The main character is Max who, despite the name, is a girl, and the leader of the group as well as the narrator of the stories. The children, ranging in age from 6 to 14, were all experimented on (hence the bird DNA they now possess) and are now running for their lives. The first two books of the series were incredibly well received, resulting in FanFiction sites, blogs, a MySpace profile, and even a campaign to get the series put on the big screen. The newest in the series, Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports, finds the group on the run once again, with their adventures bringing them to locations as diverse as Dallas and Germany and consisting of everything from dungeons to romance to chocolate chip cookies. Young adults will find that the books are not only incredibly exciting adventure stories, made up of vivid imagery that brings the characters and their stories to life, but also that they contain aspects of life to which all kids can relate. These are the kinds of books kids will love and parents won’t understand – at least not from the animated synopses their kids provide. (Unless, of course, you were one of the parents able to crack the Pokemon code of speech.) The stories are both compelling and entertaining, and they all contain a healthy dose of both humor and fantasy. With a gap in the teen and tween literary sector thanks to the conclusion of the Harry Potter books, a new series will now have to step up in order to captivate young minds and instill an early love of reading – and these could be the stories to do just that.