James Patterson’s Ali Cross

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Move over Dad, there is a new detective in town! James Patterson’s Ali Cross, published on November 25th, 2019, is the first book in an “Alex Cross‘ spin-off, a new mystery/thriller series for kids! This young adult series features Alex Cross’s son ‘Ali’ who has always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a detective. #2 Ali Cross: Like Father, Like Son, and #3 Ali Cross: The Secret Detective follow.

Ten-year-old Ali may be the youngest of the Cross children but he is wise beyond his years. Kids ages 09 to 12 will likely enjoy Ali Cross the most, however, Alex Cross fans of ALL ages might want to read this series just as much. I know I can’t wait to see what comes next!

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Q & A

  • Is Ali Cross a book for kids? Yes, it is recommended for ages 9-12 but don’t let that stop you. : ) Ali Cross is Alex Cross’s 10-year-old son.
  • Do I need to read the Alex Cross Series before reading Ali Cross? No, Ali Cross can be read on its own, however, it wouldn’t hurt. Also, keep in mind Ali Cross is a book recommended for ages 9-12 and these kids are probably not reading the Alex Cross series just yet. 
  • How many Ali Cross books are there? As of right now, there are three, however, I have a sneaky suspicion and very high hopes that Ali Cross will continue.
  • What sort of message does Ali Cross send to kids? Ali Cross is filled with messages of love, family, friends, loyalty, and kindness.

Who is Ali Cross?

Alex Cross Jr. (Ali) was nicknamed after the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali. He lives in Washington D.C. with his family. The youngest of the Cross children has two older siblings, Damon and Jannelle ‘Jannie’, his step-mom Brianna Stone ‘Bree’ (also a detective), and his grandmother ‘Nana Mama’.

If you’ve read the Alex Cross series you probably remember that Ali’s mother, Christine Johnson, was the principal at Damon’s school before Ali was born. After her kidnapping and giving birth to Alex Jr. in captivity, she left Ali to be raised by his father Detective Alex Cross.




Ali Cross (2019)

Ali Cross-Ali CrossAli loves watching Law & Order and not that he is supposed to, he also reads about his dads’ cases online, He has always wanted to be a detective like his dad, and now is his chance. Alis’ best friend Gabe Qualls has gone missing and everyone else seems to be too busy to do much about it. So he takes it upon himself to investigate the disappearance of his friend.

Ali Cross has always looked up to his father, former detective and FBI agent Alex Cross. While solving some of the nation’s most challenging crimes, his father always kept his head and did the right thing. Can Ali have the same strength and resolve?

When Ali’s best friend Gabe is reported missing, Ali is desperate to find him. At the same time, a string of burglaries targets his neighborhood and even his own house. With his father on trial for a crime he didn’t commit, it’s up to Ali to search for clues and find his friend. But being a kid sleuth isn’t easy especially when your father warns you not to get involved! Ali soon learns that clues aren’t always what they seem. Will his detective work lead to a break in Gabe’s case or cause even more trouble for the Cross family?




Ali Cross: Like Father, Like Son (2021)

Ali Cross - Like Father Like SonAli Cross just solved his first real case. Alex Cross knows it’s only a matter of time before his son finds his way into more trouble. Neither of them expected Ali to get caught up in another case so quickly.

Ali and his friends were just hanging out in Anacostia Park when they became witnesses to a crime.
Alex wants Ali to stay far away from the investigation, but Ali isn’t going anywhere, not when his new friend Zoe is in trouble. It’s up to Ali to figure out why she’s lying to the police, and who she’s protecting.

This is Ali’s toughest case yet. As long as he trusts his Cross instincts, he may just have a shot at solving


Ali Cross: The Secret Detective (2022)

Ali Cross - The Secret DetectiveAli Cross has always looked up to his father, the famous detective Alex Cross. And after helping to solve two big cases, Ali knows he has what it takes to follow in his father’s footsteps. Eager to keep solving crimes, Ali and his friends hack into police calls and go to crime scenes to watch the detectives at work, and try to crack the cases themselves.

But when Ali witnesses something horrible, he has to grapple with tough questions about what it means to be a detective and a detective’s son. Will Ali find a way to follow in his father’s footsteps…or will he be the one in danger’s path?



I think kids that love a good mystery will really enjoy Ali Cross. The really cool part is that the parents who enjoyed the Alex Cross series now have something to share with the kids. The fact that you get a perspective from both, Alex Cross and Ali Cross is just incredibly awesome, read it together. Ali Cross was very well written, it won’t be an easy one to put down. Thanks for visiting, leave your questions and comments below, and as always, Happy Reading!



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  1. Andy

    Hi and thanks for this. I started a book club some months ago with my brother and sisters as we all live thousands of miles apart so this is a great way to connect with common interests. My brother is an absolute fanatic for detective novels and usually only suggest this genre when it is his turn to choose. Thanks to him we have been busy with a series centred around an Italian detective for some time now. My sisters similarly got hooked. Thinking back the first book I ever tried to read, the first novel this is was Casino Royale that my brother lent me. So clearly he was into this kind of thing even back then. I guess my point is that this is the kind of genre that once a child gets into they are likely to stick with it into adult life. I will check out Ali Cross and suggest this when it is my turn again in our sibling bookclub. Best regards, Andy

  • Tracy

    Hi Andy! Thank you for sharing your story with me. I love that you and your siblings find a way to be together even though you are so far apart and what better way than a book club! I totally agree with you on the kids sticking to what they read when they were young and I think Ali Cross is a great detective book for the young adult. James Patterson has so many other great books that you all may enjoy, come back often and see what ‘s new.. : ) Thanks for visiting and Happy Reading!

  • Warren

    Hey tracy, Thanks for sharing this book.

    It really looks interesting. My little sisters like reading, so I think they’ll really enjoy that book.

    And by the way, I don’t think only kids under 12 can enjoy this type of books. Adults also… As a matter of facts, I like to read, mostly adventure and mystery books. So it doesn’t matter whether it’s a kid’s book or not. As long as I can enjoy it haha… It may be strange, but I’m sure a lot of adults also like it.

    Anyway, thanks again and take care.


    • Tracy

      Hi Warren, I bet your little sisters will love Ali Cross and I too enjoy reading the kids’ books, not ashamed. lol, I think it’s a great book for all ages. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for visiting and for your comments. Happy Reading!

  • petergeorge5666

    Hi Tracy, thanks for sharing this great review on James Patterson’s All cross. Have a number thrillers by Alex cross and know this will not be different. They always know what their readers want and the storyline is second to none. Talking about a version for the kids I think this is a good development for them

    • Tracy

      Thanks for the great feedback and your kind words. Ali Cross is great for the kids, I agree. It’s always good to hear from fellow James Patterson fans. Thanks again. Happy Reading!

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