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While sleeping on the roof of his father’s hotel, thirteen-year-old Lucas Benes finds a baby alone and learns that the Good Company has restarted its profitable kidnapping business. Brainwashed (Crime Travelers #1) tracks the secret urban adventures of the New Resistance, a network of international teenage spies. Headquartered in Las Vegas’s posh Globe Hotel, the New Resis While sleeping on the roof of his father’s hotel, thirteen-year-old Lucas Benes finds a baby alone and learns that the Good Company has restarted its profitable kidnapping business. Brainwashed (Crime Travelers #1) tracks the secret urban adventures of the New Resistance, a network of international teenage spies. Headquartered in Las Vegas’s posh Globe Hotel, the New Resistance sends its Tier One kids to Paris on its biggest mission to date. Lucas leads a group of friends through the hotspots of Paris—from the catacombs to the Eiffel tower—in an all-out effort to sabotage a brainwashing ceremony that could potentially turn them all into “Good” kids.


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While sleeping on the roof of his father’s hotel, thirteen-year-old Lucas Benes finds a baby alone and learns that the Good Company has restarted its profitable kidnapping business. Brainwashed (Crime Travelers #1) tracks the secret urban adventures of the New Resistance, a network of international teenage spies. Headquartered in Las Vegas’s posh Globe Hotel, the New Resis While sleeping on the roof of his father’s hotel, thirteen-year-old Lucas Benes finds a baby alone and learns that the Good Company has restarted its profitable kidnapping business. Brainwashed (Crime Travelers #1) tracks the secret urban adventures of the New Resistance, a network of international teenage spies. Headquartered in Las Vegas’s posh Globe Hotel, the New Resistance sends its Tier One kids to Paris on its biggest mission to date. Lucas leads a group of friends through the hotspots of Paris—from the catacombs to the Eiffel tower—in an all-out effort to sabotage a brainwashing ceremony that could potentially turn them all into “Good” kids.

30 review for Brainwashed

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul Aertker

    This is the best book about kids and spies that I've ever written. Obviously, I gave it five stars--not just because I wrote it, but because I loved the adventure in it. My mission is to bring the world to the middle grades. I write stories that I would have wanted to read when I was ten, eleven, twelve-- realistic and exciting international espionage novels steeped in mystery, intrigue, and deception. I want children to see that the impossible may in fact be possible, and that children may have This is the best book about kids and spies that I've ever written. Obviously, I gave it five stars--not just because I wrote it, but because I loved the adventure in it. My mission is to bring the world to the middle grades. I write stories that I would have wanted to read when I was ten, eleven, twelve-- realistic and exciting international espionage novels steeped in mystery, intrigue, and deception. I want children to see that the impossible may in fact be possible, and that children may have more power than they think. I actually believe that kids can and will fix the world that grownups have messed up. My adventure novels are set in international locales because travel has made me feel alive and given me an insatiable curiosity to learn... which I feel absolutely driven to share with you. Thanks for reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tami

    Haven't received my copy yet, just received notice I had won. 4/15/14 Received my copy and hope to start soon. Have 5 others plus my current read in front. 4/18/14 Started 5/4/14 Finished 5/5/14 Lucas is sleeping on the roof of the hotel when he hears a baby cry. He rappel's down to the parking lot and learns that the Good Company has started kidnapping again. Lucas, along with his sister Astrid and other New Resistance kids follow the mission to Paris, where Lucas finds out some information about h Haven't received my copy yet, just received notice I had won. 4/15/14 Received my copy and hope to start soon. Have 5 others plus my current read in front. 4/18/14 Started 5/4/14 Finished 5/5/14 Lucas is sleeping on the roof of the hotel when he hears a baby cry. He rappel's down to the parking lot and learns that the Good Company has started kidnapping again. Lucas, along with his sister Astrid and other New Resistance kids follow the mission to Paris, where Lucas finds out some information about his birth mother. Will they be able to save the kids from being kidnapped? This book is perfect for boys 10-13 that are hard to please. It is along the James Bond lines, minus the sexiness. Kids being the hero, and the action is funny at the same time as being tense. Girls would probably like it too, but I know from experience how hard it is to find books my 13 year old nephew would enjoy. Fast paced, fun story.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christoph Fischer

    "Brainwashed (Crime Travelers)" by Paul Aertker is a great adventure story for younger readers. Lucas Benes, the 13 year old hero of this story, fights against The Good Company, which is far from good but actually a kidnapping and trafficking business that threatens particularly children with its brainwashing. Lucas was adopted as a younger child himself and has his personal reasons to take on the fight. He and his international friends have their hands full to stop Siba Gunerro and her scheme. "Brainwashed (Crime Travelers)" by Paul Aertker is a great adventure story for younger readers. Lucas Benes, the 13 year old hero of this story, fights against The Good Company, which is far from good but actually a kidnapping and trafficking business that threatens particularly children with its brainwashing. Lucas was adopted as a younger child himself and has his personal reasons to take on the fight. He and his international friends have their hands full to stop Siba Gunerro and her scheme. The battle takes them from Las Vegas to Paris, France. The novel is full of great action, interesting characters and is very well plotted. With all the descriptions of Paris it has certainly the edge over less exciting helpings in the genre. I enjoyed the book very much and can see this become a very popular series,

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tom Donaghey

    My first review from months ago has disappeared, so I will only say that this is a fun book, designed to get the young teen reader involved in it's off-beat but intriguing look at the group of teens pitched against an enemy intelligence force. Also it is a nice intro to Paris and Vegas. My first review from months ago has disappeared, so I will only say that this is a fun book, designed to get the young teen reader involved in it's off-beat but intriguing look at the group of teens pitched against an enemy intelligence force. Also it is a nice intro to Paris and Vegas.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Xydel

    This vividly-written book about kids taking charge is exciting and action packed.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Roan Reedling

    I found the concept of the Crime Travelers and the New Resistance very engaging - engaging to me, likely to be very engaging for kids, and hopefully allusive for adults (if they're reading the book as adults): kids helping the few adults that recognize what's really going on, combat the horrible threat, misuse, and suffering - the evil - confronting kids all over the world. The kids of the New Resistance can't help but answer that silent yet earsplitting plea from their fellow, hurting, kids. Ma I found the concept of the Crime Travelers and the New Resistance very engaging - engaging to me, likely to be very engaging for kids, and hopefully allusive for adults (if they're reading the book as adults): kids helping the few adults that recognize what's really going on, combat the horrible threat, misuse, and suffering - the evil - confronting kids all over the world. The kids of the New Resistance can't help but answer that silent yet earsplitting plea from their fellow, hurting, kids. Many in the New Resistance came from those very circumstances, but persevered, chanced to overcome or escape or, more likely, were rescued themselves. They answer that call by undertaking perilous missions to save others; missions that I'm sure they could do without - they're just kids after all, even if toughly trained. But they can't ignore what's going on. Especially not in the face of an adult world that blithely ignores the crisis as remote and affecting only others, or just refuses to see and acknowledge. Though they may need the adults' material assets and tools to resist and vanquish this evil, the spirit is all their own. I liked how the kids have a comfortable relationship with the group they belong to, even while they may have an uncomfortable relationship with their own skin - still figuring out who they are; what they may be. At least they're sure what their fellowship is all about. Everyone needs a home. Even if it's in a hotel. Or in your head. I liked that each of the kids brings something important and unique to the quest, often despite, but sometimes because of their difficult early life - their painful 'origin stories'. And I liked that there weren't any guns, that I recall. I haven't successfully dealt with that in my own fictional world, but I hope to. Thanks, Paul. I really enjoyed your teaser for Book 2. Looking forward to it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elias Zapple

    High-octane, adrenalin-pumping, action-packed thriller and it's a book for children! My slugs and I felt breathless when reading this book and needed to drink quite a few Noggin' Rockers. Most kids books are rather pedestrian when compared with this, or perhaps I should slugestrian... no, that doesn't work. This is a thrill a minute as we get taken around Paris, get to learn about Paris, see the attractions of Paris and make us want to avoid Paris - not really - as they battle the Good Company. High-octane, adrenalin-pumping, action-packed thriller and it's a book for children! My slugs and I felt breathless when reading this book and needed to drink quite a few Noggin' Rockers. Most kids books are rather pedestrian when compared with this, or perhaps I should slugestrian... no, that doesn't work. This is a thrill a minute as we get taken around Paris, get to learn about Paris, see the attractions of Paris and make us want to avoid Paris - not really - as they battle the Good Company. The characters are fun, colourful and involving, the protagonist is a cool kid that most other kids will look up to and be inspired by. A great book for tweens, other kids, slugs and anybody that wants there breath taken away.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    I really wanted to like this book. It had a great theme, and good characters. Unfortunately, once I started reading the book, I was really frustrated and confused. I didn't get what what happening and why certain things were happening, I also didn't understand certain words and certain things in the story, I had to ask my mom or look certain things up on the internet. I also didn't generally like the story, I wanted to like the story, but I just didn't. Sorry Paul Aertker, this book just wasn't I really wanted to like this book. It had a great theme, and good characters. Unfortunately, once I started reading the book, I was really frustrated and confused. I didn't get what what happening and why certain things were happening, I also didn't understand certain words and certain things in the story, I had to ask my mom or look certain things up on the internet. I also didn't generally like the story, I wanted to like the story, but I just didn't. Sorry Paul Aertker, this book just wasn't for me

  9. 5 out of 5

    Martha Sockel

    I bought this for my 13 year old nephew and he loved it. We read large chunks together, and the story is a rip-roaring adventure through Paris and includes as much humor as it does action. The central character, Lucas, is being trained to take down a child trafficking organization and my nephew now wants to be a spy, such was his his enthusiasm for this book. Definitely one to get the younger imaginations going.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kai

    brainwashed by Paul Aartker was an ok book. it is about a secret organization of kids to do jobs that adults cant. there enemy is a business woman named siba ginaro she yoused child labor to do her work. the organisation stops her from brainwashing kids to do her work. the mane caricter is lucas and his sister astrid. i rate this book a 3.5. i recommend this book to everyone who loves action books and spy stuff.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alana

    really enjoyable. great action. loved gini's poop fountain incident. think it's a bit over the middle school grade level only because few kid's that age know much about geography or paris. definitely think those who love spy action adventure stories will love this series. can't wait to see the next adventure. (Received free through Goodreads First Reads) really enjoyable. great action. loved gini's poop fountain incident. think it's a bit over the middle school grade level only because few kid's that age know much about geography or paris. definitely think those who love spy action adventure stories will love this series. can't wait to see the next adventure. (Received free through Goodreads First Reads)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anna Othitis

    A Great Adventure. I bought this book for a friends pre-teen son as a gift which he thoroughly enjoyed. The suspense mystery and adventure of this novel kept his interest and attention at all times. Crime Travelers is a book I highly recommend very enthusiastic and fun, well done Mr. Aertker.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Grayson Phillips

    This was an excellent book, comparable to the likes of Alex Rider and The Hunger Games. The author fully enthrals the reader with a well-written book, satisfying to any spy-novel fan. I would recommend it for ages 10-14.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gina Stamm

    With such great ratings, we decided to read this out loud with our boys. B o r i n g. We stopped nearly halfway through...all five of us completely uninterested in any of the characters or what happens to them. DNF.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mickey

    Action packed and constantly moving. I look forward to more adventures of Lucas Benes. Great job, Paul

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Kendall

    Happy summer vacation! Time to take a trip. Pack up and join the Crime Travelers on their exciting adventure to France. Large groups of kids and even babies are being Brainwashed and disappearing. Danger lurks from page one all the way through the book. It’s up to spy kids to solve this mystery and save these innocent victims. From the very interesting characters that you’ll meet while investigating this extraordinary case in France, you’ll end up learning about other fascinating parts of the wor Happy summer vacation! Time to take a trip. Pack up and join the Crime Travelers on their exciting adventure to France. Large groups of kids and even babies are being Brainwashed and disappearing. Danger lurks from page one all the way through the book. It’s up to spy kids to solve this mystery and save these innocent victims. From the very interesting characters that you’ll meet while investigating this extraordinary case in France, you’ll end up learning about other fascinating parts of the world too. This author sees reading as travel, and he’s inviting you along for the trip of a lifetime. Ms. Gunerro is kidnapping so many kids, and forcing them to work for her at her Good Company, which is clearly a name meant to mislead. The strange Curukians protect Ms. Gunerro and are always ready to start a fight, with anyone. Fighting against the Good Company is The New Resistance. As fourteen year old Astrid explains, “The New Resistance is run by kids because that’s the way Dad designed it. Grown-ups have messed up the world, so it’s our job to make things right.” To solve this case they will have to be brainsmart to avoid being Brainwashed too. The way they sneak into Paris is clever, but then something goes wrong in the city and so Lucas, Astrid and their friends Jackknife and Nalini are together, cut off from the rest of their team. They must quickly create a new plan. Was their information wrong, or do they have a traitor in the Resistance? Astrid’s adopted brother Lucas discovers, “Everybody had secrets. Everybody.” Despite the danger, these kids have lots of fun, after all they are in gay Paris. Children are the victims in Ms. Gunerro’s crimes, so children must be the ones to save them. But at what price? Lucas poses the question, “If you were Jackknife, in that situation, about to be Brainwashed, wouldn’t you want – wouldn’t you expect – your friends to come help you?” The author, Paul Aertker (ETT Kerr) is a children’s travel book writer, teacher, and a frequent speaker at elementary and middle schools. He began his teaching career in West Africa with the Peace Corps where he helped establish the town’s first public library. As a traveler and multilingual teacher, Paul Aertker has clocked nearly half his life outside the US. He took the CIA exam because he wanted to be a spy for the good guys.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Lucas Benes is approaching his fourteenth birthday, living in and training in his father's hotel. His father leads the resistance against a corporation, The Good Company, of all names, that does ugly and illegal and immoral things toward remaining profitable. Mr. Benes takes his trainees, mostly teenagers, to Paris with the goal of disrupting a Good Company mass kidnapping. Lucas' finding a baby in the hotel parking lot adds that element to the trip to Paris. The intended audience, middle school Lucas Benes is approaching his fourteenth birthday, living in and training in his father's hotel. His father leads the resistance against a corporation, The Good Company, of all names, that does ugly and illegal and immoral things toward remaining profitable. Mr. Benes takes his trainees, mostly teenagers, to Paris with the goal of disrupting a Good Company mass kidnapping. Lucas' finding a baby in the hotel parking lot adds that element to the trip to Paris. The intended audience, middle schoolers, readers who enjoy action-packed stories, should eat this up. Author Aertker intended this to help young readers get a taste of foreign countries, and succeeds in bringing Paris to them. The story cries out for training, learning, and good morals. As an adult reader, I had to back off of credibility issues as a youngster might. (Baby care being a big one to overlook.) All in all, a good read for its intended audience with healthy underlying messages. Lucas' background makes for an interesting backstory, one likely to be addressed in the future of the series. I will seek out the second one in the series for its fun.

  18. 5 out of 5

    VBergen

    I got this book because it was supposed to be like the Jason Bourne Series but for kids. It was nothing like that. Jason is brave, smart, witty, resourceful, knows how to fight and the style of the author, Ludlum, is gripping. Lucas, the main character in Brainwashed, is just a plain boy with impressive memory and bursts of adrenaline to run. Maps on his head and that's all. By forcing too many details about Paris the track of the main plot is lost. The book has appropriate language for kids but I I got this book because it was supposed to be like the Jason Bourne Series but for kids. It was nothing like that. Jason is brave, smart, witty, resourceful, knows how to fight and the style of the author, Ludlum, is gripping. Lucas, the main character in Brainwashed, is just a plain boy with impressive memory and bursts of adrenaline to run. Maps on his head and that's all. By forcing too many details about Paris the track of the main plot is lost. The book has appropriate language for kids but I wouldn't read a story about kidnapped and brainwashed babies to my 8 years old child.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leyla Noronha

    I am rating Brainwashed (Crime Travelers, #1) by Paul Aertker. This book is about a group of young teenagers from the Nww Resistance who have to stop the, ironically, Good Company. The book takes place in Paris, France. The author wrote this book for a younger audience who like mystery and spying and kids fighting all the action, and he did a great job. "A middle grade series that 'reads like the bourne identity- but for kids.'" was a review written by Mark Robichaux, an editor in New York. The I am rating Brainwashed (Crime Travelers, #1) by Paul Aertker. This book is about a group of young teenagers from the Nww Resistance who have to stop the, ironically, Good Company. The book takes place in Paris, France. The author wrote this book for a younger audience who like mystery and spying and kids fighting all the action, and he did a great job. "A middle grade series that 'reads like the bourne identity- but for kids.'" was a review written by Mark Robichaux, an editor in New York. The theme was to never leave anyone behind and that kids are capable of great things, and both were covered multiple times. "Lucas stepped on the sill and into the room." (185) Here, Lucas, a 13 years old boy, saves his 3 friends from the Good Company, which hits both themes! The book was a bit confusing at first but otherwise it was fast paced, suspenseful, and interesting. It kept me turning the pages and reading for hours! I would give it 3.5 stars.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susan LeBlanc

    I read this book with my son (age 11). It was full of fun action and he thoroughly enjoyed it, but found the lead character to be highly irresponsible with a particular baby that is featured in the novel. Some of the content was a little unbelievable. Despite my son's criticism I could tell he enjoyed the story as we worked through it, and he's interested in reading more from Paul Aertker. So from am entertainment perspective it was a fun read. I read this book with my son (age 11). It was full of fun action and he thoroughly enjoyed it, but found the lead character to be highly irresponsible with a particular baby that is featured in the novel. Some of the content was a little unbelievable. Despite my son's criticism I could tell he enjoyed the story as we worked through it, and he's interested in reading more from Paul Aertker. So from am entertainment perspective it was a fun read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I received this book free from the publisher's booth at ALA. the author assured me the book wouldn't scare me :) The characters were well developed and I quickly felt that I became part of their group. The action was fast paced. It was hard to put down. I feel certain young teens would enjoy this series. I look forward to reading book 2. I received this book free from the publisher's booth at ALA. the author assured me the book wouldn't scare me :) The characters were well developed and I quickly felt that I became part of their group. The action was fast paced. It was hard to put down. I feel certain young teens would enjoy this series. I look forward to reading book 2.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robyn

    My 9 year old son says to rate this book 5 *. We really enjoyed the story. It was filled with action and kept us in suspense. We read at least a chapter each evening and it.drove him crazy because he was always left in suspense. We enjoyed the attention to detail in describing characters and settings.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Read this off my 12yo’s bookshelf. It was an action packed story, but with a pretty weak storyline. Definitely some holes in the plot that weren’t explained. There are more in this series so maybe more will be explained. It didn’t make me want to read the rest in the series though...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Allison Riding

    I legitimately had to flip back-and-forth to see if I skipped a page because I was so confused about the storyline so many times throughout the book. Not a very flushed out concept, unsatisfying characters, hard to take seriously.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sammy Weiss

    It was not very intersesting, but it got a little bit better as it went on. I would suggest it for ages 10 and below.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Great book Loved every moment of this book especially the baby Gini. I look forward to the next books in the series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    The description on Amazon drew me in, but once I started reading, I quickly tired of the style. I just don't think it was for me. The description on Amazon drew me in, but once I started reading, I quickly tired of the style. I just don't think it was for me.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Seth Brittain

    Crime travelers I love the action in the book it is so great.it's a great book for any ages. It has a lot of books and rising action. Crime travelers I love the action in the book it is so great.it's a great book for any ages. It has a lot of books and rising action.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mikail Nasser

    Good but my favorite book from the series was the second book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    CR

    Great book. Thrilling book with a ton of action and suspense. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a book about spies. Great book. Thrilling book with a ton of action and suspense. I'd recommend it to anyone who likes a book about spies.

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