Posts Tagged 'spy'

Starcrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  359

RAC Book:  Yes

Digger lives as a thief and a spy, but when her partner is killed by the King’s police she must go into hiding so that she does not meet the same fate.  She becomes Celyn, a lady-in-waiting, to a family that is going to a remote castle for the winter.  Digger believes this will be the perfect getaway from the city, but when she gets there finds that one of the guests, Lord Daul, knows her true identity and threatens to reveal it unless she becomes a spy for him.  As Celyn begins snooping around the castle looking for clues she finds much more than she expected and must decide whom she should trust.

Starcrossed begins a bit slow and will frustrate some fantasy readers because fantasy elements are not as prominent as they are in some other books.  However, the plot in this story carries many twists and turns that will keep readers wanting to know more about the people who have come together in this castle for the winter.  Celyn, Lady Merista, and many other characters continue to grow and develop until it seems like the reader actually knows them.  Fans of Graceling will want to check this one out.


The Devil’s Breath by David Gilman

Genre:  Adventure/Mystery

# of Pages:  389

RAC:  Yes

Max Gordon is attacked by an assassin one day at his private school and barely escapes with his life.  Then, he finds out his father has gone missing where he is working in Africa.  Max feels his father may have discovered something in his work that has put both of them in danger so he sets out to rescue him.  Along the way, he meets with further danger, both man made and nature made.  He is greeted in Africa by a young pilot who helped get him the last known message from his father.  She introduces him to a young bushman who wants to help him see his journey through.  Can Max survive such difficult terrain and exterior threats to learn the truth about his father’s disappearance?

This story is fast paced, energetic, and unpredictable.  Max’s journey has so many obstacles and dangers that it almost seems impossible that he could ever survive.  The plot is very intricate and takes some unusual turns that readers will not have seen before.  The introduction of the bushmen culture was done very well and will help inform young readers about this group of people.  This is one that sat on my “to read” list for awhile and I wish I had gotten to it sooner because many readers will enjoy this, but especially boys.  Readers who enjoy espionage books or adventure stories like Klass’s Firestorm will devour this book and want more.




Cherub: The Dealer by Robert Muchamore

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Spy Novel

# of Pages:  308

RAC Book:  Yes

James is back in this sequel as a twelve year old secret agent in CHERUB.  He begins the story by failing a training exercise and must face some rigorous training in order to earn some respect back from his fellow agents.  When he is asked to join a mission with three other teens he is eager and ready to go again.  Their mission is to befriend the children of a notorious drug dealer.  He ends up making friends with Junior, the boy his own age, pretty quickly and becomes one of the best inside informants.  As the others try to find information on the drug ring itself, James is offered the chance to deliver cocaine for cash.  He takes the opportunity to try and learn more about the inner workings of the organization, but quickly wonders if he has gotten in over his head.  Can James and his friends escape this mission unscathed?

This sequel is every bit as fun and exciting as the first.  James’ mission is dangerous, exciting, and believable as an important mission for any country to be focusing so many prime resources on.  The book is fast paced and the facts are revealed in a timely manner.  Fans of spy books such as The Sleeper Code will enjoy this title.

Cherub: The Recruit by Robert Muchamore

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Adventure

# of Pages:  345

RAC:  Yes

After James becomes an orphan and his sister is taken away, he has to live in a group home and cannot seem to keep out of trouble.  One day James wakes up in a totally new environment and learns that he has the chance to train to become a child spy for the organization called CHERUB.  This organization has been around for decades and uses children because no one suspects children of being spies.  James must endure some intense training in order to even be considered for this elite organization, but he believes it might be just what he needs in order to succeed and do something with his life.  Can he survive the training?

This espionage story is fun and fast paced as James’s life changes quickly from chapter to chapter.  Readers will like James and want good things to happen to him even if he makes questionable decisions at times.  Boys and reluctant readers will especially enjoy this story and will be eager for the sequel.

Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  265

RAC Book:  Yes

In this fourth installment of the Gallagher Girls series, Cammie Morgan is heavily protected by secret agents because the evil spy organization, the Circle, is trying to find her.  No one knows why Cammie is so important to the Circle, but several security measures are taken at Gallagher Academy to ensure that she is safe at all times.  Meanwhile, on her winter break Cammie is startled to learn that someone she was very close to has been accused of working with the Circle.  Can she trust anyone again?  Can Cammie and her friends find out why the Circle is after her?

This book picks up right where the third one left off and makes for an exciting and fast paced story.  The plot has many surprises and many questions are raised, but for the first time readers get a few answers too.  The characters and dialogue are just as fun as ever and fans of the first three Gallagher Girls books will devour this one too.

Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover by Ally Carter

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of Pages:  263

RAC Book:  Yes

In this third installment of the Gallagher Girls series, Cammie Morgan is back with her friends and about to start junior year in the private spy school, Gallagher Academy.  Before going back to school, Cammie decides to visit her friend, Macey, on the campaign trail with her father who is running for Vice President of the United States.  When they are unexpectedly attacked by skilled kidnappers, Cammie realizes how much danger her friend is in and worries about keeping her safe.  Abigail Cameron, Cammie’s aunt, is brought to the Gallagher school in order to protect Macey and keep anyone out who might blow the academy’s cover of being a snooty prep school for wealthy girls.  Meanwhile, Cammie can’t help but think about Zach, who left her at the end of the last book to go back to his spy school, Blackthorne.  She  feels like he is always on her mind for no apparent reason.  Is she paranoid or a very perceptive spy?  Can the Gallagher Girls manage to keep Macey safe during this crazy and very public election time?

This series is a lot of fun and many students eagerly awaited this third installment.  They were not disappointed in the quality of the story.  The election added an interesting new spin on the girls’ spy training because they were actually in real danger many times during the course of events and had to act as real spies would act in order to create new and adventurous plans to protect themselves.  The characters are just as interesting as ever and the story kept a brisk pace.  The only complaint I heard was that it went by too quickly.   All in all, a fun ride.

Tamar by Mal Peet

Genre: Historical Fiction

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 420 p.

RAC Book: Yes

Tamar is the spy name of a man who parachuted into occupied Holland during WWII for the Allies. He asks his son to name his daughter Tamar, but reveals very little about the time he spent as a spy. Years later his fifteen year old granddaughter, Tamar, finds a box full of information and clues left behind by her grandfather before he died. As she pieces together his mysterious past she is shocked to find out the truth about his actions during that difficult war time. She also begins to understand why her own father mysteriously left her when she was very young.

This Carnegie Medal winner uses different time periods to reveal this story. There are flashbacks to the war and what Tamar and his pal, Dart, are sent to do in Holland. It also shows Tamar’s granddaughter in present day trying to put the pieces together in order to discover who her grandfather truly was. The ending is a bit predictable, but interesting nonetheless. Students who like historical fiction may enjoy this, but it is a bit slow moving at times and takes longer than necessary to reach its conclusion.