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Fledgling
Cover of Fledgling
Fledgling
Jason Steed
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Tormented by his mother's death... Taken for granted by his father... Trained in deadly martial arts... Jason Steed is looking for a place to call home. He finds what he's looking for in the Sea...
Tormented by his mother's death... Taken for granted by his father... Trained in deadly martial arts... Jason Steed is looking for a place to call home. He finds what he's looking for in the Sea...
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Description-

  • Tormented by his mother's death...
    Taken for granted by his father...
    Trained in deadly martial arts...

    Jason Steed is looking for a place to call home. He finds what he's looking for in the Sea Cadets-an elite group of British youngsters being groomed for lifelong service in the military. But when a routine training exercise goes awry, Jason finds himself in the middle of a secret mission. The future of the world hangs in the balance...and Jason might be the only one who can save it.

    "A coming of age heart wrenching story packed with laughs and fast paced action. Most readers who love action and spy fiction will devour this dynamic book in a single sitting or two, otherwise they'll be in extreme agony waiting to see what happens next." -Fictionreviewer.com

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    Prologue

    August 1974

    Jason released the brake. The plane lurched forward and started to gather speed. He increased the throttle and increased speed. Lights from a vehicle came on ahead. The sirens went off, and the guards poured out of the barracks. Jason slowly pulled back on the tiller. Nothing happened. The plane just continued down the runway.

    It bounced and rattled its way toward the buildings. He gave it more power. Still nothing happened when he tried to lift the wheels off the ground for takeoff. The buildings were now getting close; the plane felt lighter to control but would not clear the buildings. He cut the power and applied the brakes.

    The plane slowed and bounced to a stop. They were now desperately close to the barracks and Weing's armed guards. Again, he opened the throttles and slowly turned around. He applied the brakes and opened the throttles again. The back of the plane started taking shots from behind.

    "Jason. Go! Go!" Wilson shouted as he turned the rear machine guns on the oncoming guards. Both Ryan and Peter in their Plexiglas domes turned to the rear and also began shooting.

    The tail began receiving heavy fire. The armored jeeps were getting closer and closer. The second jeep had a mounted machine gun and started firing at the plane. Wilson targeted this vehicle and unloaded his rounds. The driver and gunman were killed instantly;  the jeep veered off to the left and turned over, bursting into flames.

    Wilson was screaming at the top of his lungs for Jason to move, but the noise of the engines drowned any sound he made. Jason pulled the throttles back farther. The plane's old body shook violently.

    "This baby is going to need everything to get it off the ground," he said to himself.
    He applied more throttle, building up the revs before he eventu­ally released the brakes.
    The plane launched forward. He pulled the throttle back farther and farther. With its 110-foot wingspan bouncing, the B-24 stormed down the runway. Now that it was going faster, it felt lighter to control. Jason opened the throttles all the way; he wanted to get as much speed as possible. He pulled back the tiller. The end of the runway and the wire fence rushed toward him. He had to go now. He was going too fast to stop.

    The thirty-three-ton plane slowly lifted off the ground and roared into the cloudless dawn sky. Wilson, John, Ryan, and Pete started cheering as they left the complex behind.
    Jason turned on the radio to call for help.

    "This is Jason Steed of the 22nd Platoon Sea Cadets requesting flight information-over."

    Ray Steed was on the bridge, He could not believe his ears when the sweet, unbroken voice of his son came loud and clear over the airways. The bridge crew members cheered and gave Ray a pat on the back. Ray had to fight back his emotions.

    "This is Jason Steed of the 22nd Platoon Sea Cadets requesting flight information-over," he repeated.

    "G'day. Jason Steed, this is Broom Air Force Base North Western Australia. Roger Bankman speaking. Please give your position-over."

    "I have no idea, sir. Somewhere over Jakarta, flying southwest, 22 degrees-over."

    "We have you on radar. What are you flying, Jason?" Roger replied.

    "I don't know, sir. A big American World War II bomber. It has four engines, three domes. It's green, noisy, and bloody huge, sir."

    The officers on the bridge of the Ark ...

About the Author-

  • Mark A. Cooper was born in London and moved with his family to the U.S. in 2003. When his 12-year-old son's grades improved after reading the Harry Potter series, Mark decided to encourage literacy with his own novel. He self-published Fledgling: Jason Steed and the novel has enjoyed huge success and a devoted following on the web.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2010

    How does a boy turn into a hero? Growing up in Hong Kong, Jason never thought about it. Having lost his mother at birth, been neglected by his father and raised by a succession of nannies, Jason is drawn to the discipline of the martial arts at an early age. He conquers them one by one, earning black belts in all. Looking for new challenges, it's not long before he's sneaking onto the nearby naval base to teach himself to fly on flight simulators. By the time his father relocates them to England, this 11-year-old is not like the other boys at school. But it isn't until he joins the Sea Cadets and goes on a training exercise off Jakarta that he has the opportunity to put all his training to good use. Well constructed, full of adolescent wish-fulfillment and almost believable, this is an undemanding page-turner in the spirit of Alex Rider and Co. that will appeal to parents as well as kids. Let the sequels begin. (Thriller. 12 & up)

    (COPYRIGHT (2010) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2011

    Gr 5-7-Set during the 1960s and 1970s, the novel follows Jason Steed from his birth, which caused his mother's death and created a rift between him and his father, to a critical mission he accidentally joins at age 11. Jason is almost superhuman: his martial arts skills across several styles are amazing, his linguistic ability incredible, and his tenacity and resolve, even at age five, are impressive. But despite his amazing skills and his knack for getting himself into places and organizations where he shouldn't be, Jason has normal emotions: he craves his father's love, he develops firm friendships, he takes a stand against bullies, and he mourns when he cannot prevent the deaths of his friends. The action is fast, and the spy and military aspects of the Sea Cadets, a British organization that trains youngsters for the military, seem designed to appeal to reluctant male readers. The novel is violent, particularly in Jason's final (and accidental) mission, and the deaths that impact him are handled with grace, even while physical injuries are graphically described. The writing is a little unpolished, and Jason's maturity and abilities are over the top, but the adventure is exactly on target for the intended audience.-Alana Joli Abbott, formerly at James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT

    Copyright 2011 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • —Fictionreviewer.com "A coming of age heart wrenching story packed with laughs and fast paced action. Most readers who love action and spy fiction will devour this dynamic book in a single sitting or two, otherwise they'll be in extreme agony waiting to see what happens next."

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