Monday, March 12, 2012
Funny Pick: Spy School
by Stuart Gibbs
Simon & Schuster
Just released March 6, 2012
I have 5 copies to of this exciting new book to give away here
Clever, comedic, cute, charming, witty, punny, and sensational, Spy School is seriously entertaining and delivers chortling, mad fun. Readers will laugh out loud by the incompetence of the nation's most skilled special agents and roll around the floor aching with side-splitting laughter as a twelve year old boy is able to take down the entire elite team of agents and hide out from surveillance and capture.
Ben Ripley is a "normal" 12-year old middle school boy--he's trying to survive his geeky phase and stay alive another day. On a normal, mundane day, he arrives home to find a CIA spy in his living room. James Bond sauve and debonair look-alike Alexander Hale explains that the CIA wants to hire Ben--they have been watching him for some time. Ben can't believe his luck! How did they find him? --Agent Hale explains that due to his 728 searches of the CIA website, Ben has caught their attention. Hale offers to send Ben to Spy School--all very hush-hush and top secret, of course. Ben's parents think he's off to attend Science Camp.
The moment Ben steps foot onto the grounds of the Academy, bullets start whizzing through the air. Someone's trying to kill him! Then, he's attacked in his dorm room by an armed assassin, but Ben fights him off in the pitch darkness using only his wits and a well-aimed tennis racquet.
The school is covering something up and it's up to Ben to find out what it is before he's hunted down and killed. With the help of Erica Hale (Alexander Hale's daughter), Ben searches for clues and puts himself in danger as a target for someone who trying to kill him and steal the secrets of Pinwheel--a top secret program that Ben is supposed to have invented--someone planted that lie in his files hoping to catch the mole at the Academy.
This gem of a spy story featuring loveable, nerdy kid Ben will amuse tween and teen readers. The mole and the mole's story set up for a sequel quite nicely. Readers will cheer as Ben is able to catch the mole and outsmart the adults, the administration and all the CIA agents.
Some of the funniest lines are when Ben asks Agent Hale if the Department of Education knows that there are test questions on their standardized tests inserted by the CIA. Hale responds, "I doubt it. They don't know much of anything over at Education."
When Ben meets Erica, he is speechless by her beauty and describes it by saying,"She even smelled incredible, an intoxicating combination of lilacs and gun-powder."
Professor Crandall in defending the CIA quips, "The people who run the CIA might be incompetent, paranoid, and borderline insane, but they're not psychotic."
Chapter titles are dripping with CIA chic, too. Titles include, "Intimidation," "Ninjas," "War," "Surveillance," "Ambush," and "Detonation" to name a few.
Highly, highly recommended grades 5-up. This is the funniest book of the year and I predict it will be on many state's recommended lists and Best Books of 2012.
No language, no sex, just good old funny spying and espionage.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.