- The Washington Times - Friday, January 26, 2007

By calvin toner, age 11

Cedar Grove Elementary School, Germantown

“The Secret of Stoneship Woods,” the first of Rick Barba’s “Spy Gear Adventures” series, is about four children. Two brothers, Jake and Lucas Bixby, and their friends, Cyril and Lexi, live in a quiet neighborhood called Carrolton. One afternoon after soccer practice, the four wander into Stoneship Woods, a mysterious wooded area that not many people know about.

They find an abandoned toy warehouse and go into the control room, where they find an abandoned but still workable spy surveillance post full of gear such as night-vision goggles, motion sensors and a main computer with access to a satellite. With the discovery of spy equipment, the friends decide to do some spying of their own and run into trouble and danger.

The main computer’s satellite is focused on an abandoned farmhouse near an area where a new neighborhood is being built. The farmhouse holds a secret of its own, and in trying to drop their new surveillance equipment into the farmhouse, the group of friends is surprised by a character named Marco, who also is hiding a secret.

It is up to Jake, Lucas, Cyril and Lexi to save the Internet from destruction in Mr. Barba’s exciting adventure book.

The author has a unique writing style that grabs the reader’s attention with real-life experiences and an exciting twist. Also in this series are “The Massively Multiplayer Mystery,” “The Quantum Quandary” and “The Doomsday Dust.” I would recommend Mr. Barba’s adventure books for ages 9 and up.

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