‘Moving Target’ by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

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Rating: 4 stars

“Moving Target” by Christina Diaz Gonzalez is a middle grade through young adult adventure novel that is fast-paced and filled with unforgettable characters. It’s basically a Dan Brown novel for young readers.

Almost from the first page, the reader is thrust into the life of Cassandra Arroyo and her adventure. Her father picks her up at midday from her private school, and he tells her that she is in danger. He also gives her instructions on what to do if something happens to him, and when he is shot, he begs her to run.

Cassie runs to the house of her best friend, Simone, and together they begin the adventure. It turns out that Cassandra is the descendant of an ancient bloodline that is linked with a special spear — the spear that killed Jesus. If the spear is combined with a person who has the “mark,” as Cassie does, then that person can change the future.

Cassie learns that there are those who would kill her to keep her from having the power over the spear and the power to change the future. Those who have had that power have become crazed by the spear. The last holder of the spear decided that the best way to make the world a better place was to kill most inhabitants and start over. This person is in a coma, and when he dies, the next person with the mark who touches the spear will control its power.

Cassie is determined to find the spear and give it to those who would protect it from abuse. But fate may have other plans. She and Simone are joined by Asher, who has been trained by his uncle to protect those who might have the power over the spear. Asher is only two years older than Cassie, but he is very resourceful.

While the ending is fairly predictable, the ride is enjoyable. Readers will be anxious to read the next book in the series to see what adventure Cassie is on next. Perfect for readers from fourth grade through high school, it’s a book that will have a wide audience.

Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by Scholastic Press for review purposes.