Publisher's Note:  

What waits Beneath?


Pat O'Toole has always idolized his older brother, Coop. He's even helped Coop with some of his crazier plans -- such as risking his life to help his big brother dig a tunnel underneath their neighborhood in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Coop is . . . different. He doesn't talk on the phone, doesn't use email, and doesn't have friends. He's never really cared for anything but the thrill of being underground and Pat. So it's no surprise to anyone -- even Pat -- that after a huge fight with their parents, Coop runs away. Exactly one year later, Pat receives a package containing a digital voice recorder and a cryptic message from his brother. He follows the clues to New York City, and soon discovers that Coop has joined the Community, a self-sufficient society living beneath the streets. Now it's up to Pat to find his brother -- and bring him home.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic


by Roland Smith

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Overall Review:  

Have you ever wondering what goes on underneath us, especially in a city like New York that is sitting on top of miles of underground tunnels and caverns? In Roland Smith's new novel, Beneath, we find out just what that is as we follow the adventure of two brothers, Pat and Coop. Coop, a quirky 18 year old, has always been drawn to the 'underneath' and eventually goes down a little too far. Pat, his claustrophobic, younger brother braves his fears to pull him back to above ground. Along the way they discover a little about themselves, their relationship to each other and make a new friend, Kate, who needs a little rescuing herself as well as a little self-discovery.


The journey to the 'Beneath' and back up again is an exciting, action-packed adventure that will have you turning pages to see what happens next. It's also a journey about love of family, overcoming fears, and helping others along the way--all something the leader of the dystopian-like society of the Underneath fails to understand. The contrast between the two sides, those willing to help others and those willing to dominate at all costs, gives this novel a nice moral hidden in a compelling and exciting adventure that you won't want to put down!

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  1 religious exclamation.


Violence/Gore:  Explosion causes burns to 2 characters and damage to homes; secondhand account of character getting attacked by rats; character receives death threat; fictional account of character being pushed, hitting head on rocks and falling into the river; secondhand account of someone blowing up buildings in a terrorist attack; threat made a few times (4) of never leaving group alive; secondhand account of how someone's parents were murdered; newspaper account of a murder; description of how guards are willing to kill people; assumption made that some people were murdered; extended scene of 3 characters being chased/hunted by guards with dogs; description of how guard dogs will chase someone and rip them apart; animal shot and killed; man shot at and tasered; account of how a character was shot and left for dead; description of plot that would result in death and destruction


Sex/Nudity:  None

Mature Subject Matter:  

Runaway youth, divorce, homelessness, terrorism, death of parents, dystopian-type mentality/society.

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Reviewed By Sally
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