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The Challenge

(Steel Trapp #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,715 ratings  ·  154 reviews
In this riveting crime novel, fourteen-year-old Steven “Steel” Trapp sets off with his mom and their dog, Cairo, on a two-day Amtrak journey to compete in the National Science Challenge in Washington, D.C. Steel is both blessed and cursed with a remarkable photographic memory—just one look, and whatever he sees is imprinted for keeps. Trying to be a Good Samaritan on the t ...more
Audio CD
Published March 25th 2008 by Brilliance Audio (first published January 1st 2008)
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Isaac I would say around Grade 5 or 6. Not much mature content.
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,715 ratings  ·  154 reviews


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Kadi P
4 stars for constant action but 2 stars for character depth.

I’m not really sure I liked the protagonist, Steel. He had a very loose moral compass and isn’t this supposed to be a children’s book? Plus, he would constantly put himself in danger when he’s smart enough not to for reasons that were not good enough to warrant the danger he was putting himself in. It made for good action, though.

I felt like Larson was an underdeveloped character, so much so that I continuously got Larson and Hampton c
...more
Linda
Usually, I let my kids play a major role in the reviews for our family audiobooks; but, not this time. They liked this books a lot. Surely, if I would have asked, they would have given it a 4 or 5. For me, this book was a disappointment. The protagonist was a kid, who ultimately saved the day, but who lied, frequently, and who spent most of his time whining and feeling sorry for himself. The storyline was inane. There was so many holes, that I couldn't possibly suspend disbelief long enough to b ...more
Melissa
A decent sort of "kid turns secret agent" book. The only thing that bothered me is an old complaint: I hate when the action of the story relies almost entirely on having otherwise super-bright characters make stupid decision after stupid decision. It just doesn't sit right.
Hunter M
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personal Response:
I enjoyed reading this book. It was a little hard to follow, because there were so many twists in the book. In the beginning of the book, every chapter started off with a new character. One thing I liked about this book was that the situation that Steel got himself in was pretty fictional. Although, that was what made the story interesting. When the woman left her briefcase on the train and refused to take it, I felt like he knew something was wrong when she would not claim ow
...more
Easton Groskreutz
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personal response:
I thought this book was super interesting and had dealt with a lot of cliffhangers. Along with what happened in the book, it kept me thinking what would happen next. I really enjoyed this book and I had given it four stars. It included plenty of action I could follow along with. In my own words, this book had to be in the top five I read.

Plot:
Steel Trapp and his mother were getting ready to leave for the National Science Challenge. He expected his father to leave with them, bu
...more
MOVED - CHECK BIO
It felt so good reading another Ridley Pearson book. It was a different genre, with different characters, a new plot, and a whole lot of awesomeness.

The main character, Steven 'Steel' Trapp, is a 14-year-old boy who has photographic memory. He's on his way to Washington, DC, to compete in a science competition called The Challenge. But on the way, he gets in a bit of trouble. When he tries to do a good deed, he quickly gets involved in something more important than The Challenge.

I picked up this
...more
Rafael
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cool
Have you ever been threaten by a gang member? Then if this happen to you, follow Ridley Pearson’s Steel Trapp the Challenge to see what happens with this kid’s life.
The main character in Steel Trapp the Challenge is Steven “Steel” Trapp. Steel has a photographic memory and Steel was a nickname his friends gave him in the first grade because of his photographic memory cause it’s like a steel trap. While Steel was on a train to Washington D.C. he found a briefcase and wanted to know what was in
...more
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
I'm sure this is a great book that I will regret not reading, but it doesn't look to be my style at this moment. I also need to clear out a lot of books, that at this moment, I have no intention of reading. This is one of them. I hope that someone else will read this and love it.
Tiffany Rivard
We listened to this on the way to elko. It was pretty cheesy but it would be great for boys not quite ready for ya books.
Toby Madden
Steven was a fourteen year old boy and was very smart because he had a photographic memory. That’s how he got his nickname “ Steel Trapp.” That was his nickname, because his last name was Trapp, but everything he saw got locked inside his head like steel. Steel ended up getting on a train with his mother, but he noticed a strange behavior by a woman who left her briefcase behind. That was how it appeared anyway. It was strange because when he tried to return it to her, she refused that it was he ...more
Gianluca
Jan 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this book a one star because I didn’t understand anything because it is the weirdest book i’ve Ever read, not only that the story is bad, also you have to have a 10 out of 10 on your reading skills. That’s why i hated it, because is bad and tricky.

Like you saw up there I did not like the book at all because it is tricky, confusing and pretty pretty weird also its hard to concentrate because if you have a bit of distraction on your sorraundings you aren’t going to be able to read more than
...more
John Boyda
I didn't realize this was a young readers book when I bought it, so needless to say, I was disappointed. But, for a young reader, this would be a exciting book. Two "tweens", a girl and boy (both science buffs), team up to foil the bad guys. Some plot hole and transparencies, but good enough to keep young person's interest. Very little violence, lots of cliff hangers, short chapters and larger than normal print (in this edition) make it a good recommendation for younger reders.
Jill Cd
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I rated it a 4 because I can see my students truly enjoying this adventure/mystery. A fun addition to the “secret agent” type books.
Erica Ann Miller
Awesome

Had a great time reading this and it was a thriller till the end with twists and turns throughout.



Yeet
Brenda
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books
Marissa Cecil
May 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very quick read. Some parts felt a bit rushed, but I enjoyed the science aspects.
Cole
Sep 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cole Miller
Romaniuk/Moyer
Reading/L.A. Book Review #1
21 September 2010
Steel Trapp:

What would you do if a woman drops a brief case on the overhead bin and leaves. This book is set in Washington DC. The main charter is Steel this book is realistic fiction I would rate book three and a half stars. Ridley Pederson has written a book about a no name kid who is pulled in to a big problem. What would you do if you were on a train being searched by two U.S Marshalls and SWAT looking for a ruthless gang
...more
K.  Thielen
A great mystery for middle school students! Ridley Pearson has created Steven "Steel" Trapp, his main character with a photographic memory and the drive to find answers and puts him in the middle of a mystery that involves a gang related to terrorist activities. The result is a page-turner filled with action and adventure.

Book Talk:

Steven "Steel" Trapp and his mom are on their way to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Science Challenge, a trip that he has waited a long time for. Steel has a
...more
Heather
May 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
Revenge of the Nerds meets Indiana Jones? No, that's not quite right. Hmmm...McGuyver meets Bill Gates? Whatever comparison is made, it still won't adequately describe this action-packed novel full of science geeks and terrorist plots. Steven "Steel" Trapp (so nicknamed for his photographic memory) is an out and out science geek, and he totally owns it. He's on his way by Amtrak train to Washington D.C. with his mother and his dog, Cairo, to compete in the National Science Challenge. At the stat ...more
Homewood Public Library
Revenge of the Nerds meets Indiana Jones? No, that's not quite right. Hmmm...McGuyver meets Bill Gates? Whatever comparison is made, it still won't adequately describe this action-packed novel full of science geeks and terrorist plots. Steven "Steel" Trapp (so nicknamed for his photographic memory) is an out and out science geek, and he totally owns it. He's on his way by Amtrak train to Washington D.C. with his mother and his dog, Cairo, to compete in the National Science Challenge. At the stat ...more
Monty Sage
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was reading Steel Trapp: The Challenge, I thought a lot about how I would feel if I were Steel, who is the main character in this story, when he was running from the ruthless gang. It made me think about how you never know when certain skills may become important. Steel's special skill, a photographic memory, got him into trouble in the first place, but it also helped save an innocent person's life. As the books goes on, I began to feel all of Steel's feelings and emotions, and picture ex ...more
Mark Buxton
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Steel Trapp is the name of a teenage boy with a photographic memory and a genius mind. While on his way to an invention competition in Washington, D.C., Steel notices a briefcase left behind on the train, and this begins his adventure. He discovers a photograph of a kidnapped woman and doesn't know who to trust with the information. Obviously, not the police! Steel is joined by a runaway genius from Chicago, and together they help solve the mystery and espionage. Steel's FIDOE, a scent-tracking ...more
Kara Peterson
Jan 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You should be finding more and more audio books for children on here. I am trying to find a "new" thing to do in the car that does not encourage electronic games or TV or tuning into an IPOD. I think a lot of the auditory skills in my children is lacking (one is definitely a visual learner) so we are doing books on CD in the car and then discussing it. It is working great for our family. I have two boys 9 and 14. I try to get books that appeal to both. Steel Trapp was definitely an on the edge f ...more
Jessi
Steven (Steel) Trapp is entered in the National Science Challenge in Washington, D. C. He is riding to the city on a train with his mother, his salesman father being off on another of his constant trips. While on the train, he notices that someone has left a briefcase. Using his photographic memory, he realizes that the woman has left the train. But when he chases her down on the platform, she claims the briefcase isn't hers, vehemently. Steel then encounters another NSC participant, Kaileigh, w ...more
Cameron
Mar 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about a 14 year old boy named Steel that has a photographic memory who is on a train to The National Science Challenge with his mother and his dog Cairo. When his mother walks away we watches a woman get off of the train and she isn't carrying the briefcase that she had taken on the train. When he leaps out of his seat to give the briefcase back to the woman she doesn't take it back saying that it isn't hers. He goes back to the train and gives the briefcase to the train conductor a ...more
Melissa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joenna
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent, excellent, excellent! A boy, Steven, aka Steel, has a photographic memory and is on his way to the national science fair. On the train ride, a woman who he knows boarded the train with a briefcase, is leaving, but left her briefcase there. He tries to give it back, but she claims it's not hers and is very angry at Steel's intrusion. Steel is very curious as to what's in the briefcase and opens it. Inside he finds a picture of a woman, tied to a chair with duct tape around her mouth. T ...more
Sarah
Aug 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I gave this book three stars because I liked it enough to read the second entry in the series. However, while the story was good, I wanted to smack some sense into Steel Trapp, the protagonist. Trapp is an extremely intelligent boy with a photographic memory, who is also an insufferable know-it-all with a bad attitude. While he saves the day in the end, part of the hi-jinks ensue because he thinks he can do everything better than adults. He lies and defies authority, but I guess without all of h
...more
Matthew
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grade-7
This book is awesome! Steel Trapp is fourteen. He enters a science competition and moves on to the finals. The finals are in Washington D.C. and on the train ride there he find a lady that leaves the train without her suitcase. He takes the suitcase and tries to give it to her but she argues that it is not hers. He later finds out that she is part of a terrorist group and he meets a girl named Kaileigh. They become friends and they end up on a mission to stop the terrorists. When they find the t ...more
Tom Van Boening
Nov 20, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The plot was clunky, the protagonists were dull, the antagonists were boring, and the conflict was directive of other thrillers. I went in with an open mind, and I honestly had to tell myself to finish the story.

I will give it slack that it is a kids book and meant for a YA audience, most likely. It might have been for younger audiences, but so is Ender's Game and Harry Potter, which readers of all ages can enjoy.

I cannot recommend this.

It's unlikely that Ridley Pearson would ever read this nega
...more
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1,711 followers
Ridley Pearson is the author of more than fifty novels, including the New York Times bestseller Killer Weekend; the Lou Boldt crime series; and many books for young readers, including the award-winning children's novels Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, which he cowrote with Dave Barry. Pearson lives with his wife and two daughters, divi ...more

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Steel Trapp (2 books)
  • The Academy (Steel Trapp, #2)

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