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The Prisoner of Cell 25
Table of Contents
About The Book
My name is Michael Vey, and the story I’m about to tell you is strange. Very strange. It’s my story.
To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is an ordinary fourteen-year-old. In fact, the only thing that seems to set him apart is the fact that he has Tourette’s syndrome. But Michael is anything but ordinary. Michael has special powers. Electric powers.
Michael thinks he's unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children – and through them the world. Michael will have to rely on his wits, powers, and friends if he’s to survive.
1 Chopsticks and Spiders
“Have you found the last two?” The voice on the phone was angry and coarse, like the sound of car tires over broken glass.
“Not yet,” the well-dressed man on the other end of the phone replied. “Not yet. But we believe we’re close—and they still don’t know that we’re hunting them.”
“You believe you’re close?”
“They’re two children among a billion—finding them is like finding a lost chopstick in China.”
“Is that what you want me to tell the board?”
“Remind the board that I’ve already found fifteen of the seventeen children. I’ve put out a million-dollar bounty on the last two, we’ve got spiders crawling the Web, and we have a whole team of investigators scanning global records for their whereabouts. It’s just a matter of time before we find them—or they step into one of our traps.”
“Time isn’t on our side,” the voice returned sharply. “Those kids are already too old. You know how difficult they are to turn at this age.”
“I know better than anyone,” the well-dressed man said, tapping his ruby-capped pen on his desk. “But I have my ways. And if they don’t turn, there’s always Cell 25.”
There was a long pause, then the voice on the phone replied darkly, “Yes. There’s always Cell 25.”
Reading Group Guide
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Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
By Richard Paul Evans
1. Based on the book cover and the book title, what do you think this book will be about?
2. What do you think is so special about Michael Vey?
3. Who do you think the prisoner is going to be?
4. Based on the prologue, how do you think the book will end?
5. Do you think Michael is capable of abusing his special powers? Why? Explain
6. Realistically, other than moving, what other alternatives does Michael have to keep his powers a secret?
7. Do you think Michael can trust Taylor? Why? Explain
8. Why do you think the evil man called his co-hort Zeus?
9. Why do you think the evil gang took Michael’s mom and Taylor?
10. What has happened to Taylor at the beginning of Chapter 18?
11. What is Nichelle’s role in the book? Why does the author have someone like Nichelle in the book?
12. What does Michael have that reminds him of his mom and brings back memories that are painful to remember?
13. If you had a special power, what would that power be? How would you use it? Do you think you would be tempted to use it for the wrong reasons?
14. Michael is bullied by some bigger boys. If a friend confided in you that he was being bullied, what would you advise him to do?
15. What do you think motivates someone to bully someone else? Do you think fear might be part of it? Why do you think the boys bullied Michael?
16. Michael and his mom have a very close relationship. She’s very protective of him, but in what ways is Michael protective of her? How do you think Michael feels about all the things his mother has to do keep him safe?
This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
- Publisher: Simon Pulse/Mercury Ink (August 9, 2011)
- Length: 336 pages
- ISBN13: 9781451656503
- Grades: 7 and up
- Ages: 12 - 99
- Lexile ® HL500L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®
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Raves and Reviews
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
by Richard Paul Evans
Reviewed by John M. Wills | Released: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse (336 pages)
“. . . my 13-year-old grandson picked it up and began reading the first chapter after I had put it down. He remarked, “Papa, hurry up and finish reading this, I want to see where this story goes.” I already know where this is all going: Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 is going to be another bestseller for Richard Paul Evans. The book is electric.”
Having read much of Richard Paul Evans’s work, I knew to expect a wonderful story; however, I admit I was skeptical about reading a novel geared toward children 12 years old and up. My skepticism disappeared quickly as I began reading about the book’s protagonist, Michael Vey.
Author Evans has created a character that will entertain both adults and children. I found myself absorbed in the story just several pages in. Michael Vey is, ostensibly, an average teenager, 14 years old, who has the same problems as others in that awkward age group. He finds himself the victim of bullying, mostly due to his facial tics, a result of Tourette’s. He doesn’t fit in with most kids in school, and the girls avoid him whenever possible.
His only friend, Ostin, the class brain—and therefore a nerd to the school jocks—also endures endless bouts of pranks and teasing. The two likeable adolescents form a bond that enables them to endure the constant gauntlet laid down by their classmates.
At one point in the story an incident occurs in which Michael discovers he has a secret power—he’s electric. Although his mother has known this about her son for some time, Michael is just now discovering his abnormal abilities can be used to his advantage.
As the story develops, Mr. Evans creates moral dilemmas that Michael and his friends must face. Questions of ethics and evil versus good become pivotal points and serve to develop a moral compass for the youngsters, both in the story and hopefully for the children reading the book.
There are plenty of thrills and adventure in this well-written novel, one that readers will feel comfortable in having their sons and daughter read. In fact, my 13-year-old grandson picked it up and began reading the first chapter after I had put it down. He remarked, “Papa, hurry up and finish reading this, I want to see where this story goes.”
I already know where this is all going: Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 is going to be another bestseller for Richard Paul Evans. The book is electric.
Reviewer John M. Wills is the author of Gripped by Fear (TotalRecall Publications), the second novel in the Chicago Warriors Thriller Series. His book, Targeted, won 1st Place in 2011 at the Public Safety Writers Association Convention; he is also a former Chicago Police Officer and retired FBI Agent.
- New York Journal of Books, August 2011
5Q 4P M J
Evans, Richard Paul. Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell-25. Simon Pulse, 2011. 336p. $17.99. 978-1-4516-5650-3.
Ninth grade can be brutal, especially if you are an undersized boy dealing with Tourette’s syndrome. Add bullies, disingenuous authority figures, a geeky best friend, a loving but financially strapped parent, and you have a relatable protagonist who just happens to have an amazing superpower. Michael Vey can zap people with electricity. With his mother’s help, he has been able to keep his “mutation” a secret until the eventful day when popular cheerleader, Taylor, witnesses him defending himself against three tormentors. This event sets into action a chain of discoveries, deceit, and destruction that brings together an unlikely group of young people who must work together to save themselves and others. Throughout these adventures, the author interweaves a plausible scientific explanation for Michael’s powers: sixteen years ago, seventeen babies were inadvertently given special abilities. Now, evil powerbrokers want to use these young people to cause international mayhem and gain wealth through extortion. Short chapters with intriguing titles, excellent writing, and engaging characters make this action-packed story a compulsively entertaining read. The tale progresses with altering points of view. Michael tells his story in first-person and Taylor’s tale is narrated in third-person. This first book of a planned series has a satisfying conclusion but leaves the reader determined to discover what the next book, Rise of the Electroclan, has in store for our young hero and his friends. Though contemporary and edgy, this book contains no bad language, sex, or gratuitous violence. This is a book Rick Riordan’s fans will want to read.
VOYA, October 2011
Evans, Richard Paul
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
2011. 336pp. $17.99 hc. Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster). 978-1-4516-5650-3. Grade 7 & up
Like Richard Evans’ adult novels, this title has a message of hope and love. However, this book also has pure adventure, science fiction, and creepy bad guys. Michael Vey has been hiding a secret all his life: he has a superpower. Sixteen other children born in the same hospital at the same time also exhibit unusual electromagnetic powers. Michael and Taylor are the only ones who haven’t been collected by the evil, power hungry men. With some help from others, Michael and Taylor free the prisoners of the twisted Elgin Academy where they are held. The book ends with Michael, Taylor, and their new friends banding together to rescue Michael’s mother, setting the scenario for a sequel. Although the book starts out rather slowly, the pace picked up. Readers will be looking forward to the next book in the series. Kyla M Johnson, Librarian, Farmington (New Mexico) High School [Editor’s Note: Available in e-book format.]
Library Media Connection, Jan/Feb 2012
Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25, by Richard Paul Evans, is one of those books that you’d better give yourself time to read because once you begin, you won’t stop! Michael Vey goes to high school in Idaho where he’s keeping a secret. He has strange electric powers and soon discovers there’s another girl who has similar powers. When both the girl and his mom are kidnapped, the action accelerates! There are more books planned in this series.
Newton Book News
EVANS, Richard Paul. Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25. 336p. S & S/Pulse/Mercury Ink. 2011. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-1-4516-6183-5; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-1-4516-5822-4. LC number unavailable.
Gr 5-9–Michael Vey, 14, has problems. Not only does he suffer from Tourette’s syndrome, but he also has electricity coursing through his body. He can shock people without rubbing his feet on the carpet; he can jump-start his mother’s car by holding the battery connectors and “surging,” and he can knock bullies who attack him off their feet. Michael and his mother have moved to Idaho because there was an “incident” in his former town, and now he discovers that the prettiest girl in his new school has powers, too. Taylor can read people’s minds. Ostin, Michael’s best friend, doesn’t have powers, but he is wicked smart and helps them to figure out that there is more to the mystery than the fact that they were born in the same hospital within days of each other. Soon there is a terrifying adventure afoot when they are captured and introduced to others with powers who, under the lead of the sinister Hitch, have kidnapped Michael’s mother and have evil plans for the world. The dialogue and interactions among the teens seem more like they belong in the 1950s rather than today, but the fast-paced action and cool powers will probably outweigh any negatives.–Jake Pettit, Thompson Valley High School, Loveland, CO
SLJ, November 2011
"Evans (The Christmas Box) enters the YA market with this fast-paced... tale of a teenager with superpowers and the conspiracy that created him... Evans delivers a pair of believable lead characters--Taylor has wits and personal integrity, while Michael's Tourette's syndrome, coupled with an emotional jolt from his past, adds dimension."
-Publishers Weekly, August, 2011
"My kind of book-- fast, funny, and strange. Once Michael's astounding powers are revealed, the shocks keep coming chapter after chapter."
- R.L. Stine, #1 bestselling author of Goosebumps
"Michael Vey is one of the most original thrillers I've come across in years. It's rare that a book can appeal to a young adult just as much as their parents-but Evans has pulled it off."
- Vince Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"Michael Vey is fantastic. I simply couldn't put it down. I believe Michael Vey is every bit as good as Twilight or Harry Potter."
- Glenn Beck, #1 bestselling author, media personality
“Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans is a fantastic read…because of the realistic writing, the likable characters, and a plot that guarantees non-stop action from almost the first page…Any teen into action, adventure or science fiction will want to make sure Michael Vey is on his or her bookshelf.”
– Chicago Examiner.com
“Young super hero fans will enjoy this new release...With mystery, suspense, and plenty of thrills – Michael Vey is highly entertaining. With more psychological excitement than action, the intensity builds to a climatic ending with more than a few surprises along the way.”
“A fast paced, entertaining read with an engrossing storyline and well developed characters…I think [Michael Vey] is going to be a fabulous new series by Richard Paul Evans. It’s exciting, full of action, snark, unique powers and has a group of teens who are worth reading about…I definitely recommend picking this one up.”
– Mundie Moms
“Michael Vey is electrifyingly awesome. This new series …will thrill, shock, amaze and entertain male and female readers of all ages…I loved this book and can’t wait for the sequel, RISE OF THE ELGEN, which can’t get here fast enough.”
Awards and Honors
- ILA Young Adults' Choices
- Georgia Children's Book Award
- Oregon Battle of the Books List
- Nutmeg Book Award Nominee (CT)
- Gateway Readers Award Final Nominee (MO)
- Soaring Eagle Book Award Nominee (WY)
- Golden Sower Award Nominee (NE)
- Nevada Young Readers' Award
- Young Hoosier Book Award (IN)
- CBC/NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
- Rebecca Caudill Young Reader's Book Award (IL)
- Louisiana Young Readers' Choice Award
- Golden Sower Award Honor Book (NE)
Resources and Downloads
High Resolution Images
- Book Cover Image (jpg): Michael Vey Hardcover 9781451656503
- Author Photo (jpg): Richard Paul Evans Photo by Emily Drew.(0.1 MB)
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