Spy Ski School
by Stuart Gibbs
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Spy Ski School is the fourth in this fun series and it's the BEST! Ben Ripley is up to it again. More fun, more gadzooks, more catching evil criminals, more silliness, more hijinks, more tomfoolery, and more shenanigans within the CIA. Ben, Erica, Zoe and other spy students from the academy are sent to a ski resort in Colorado to "blend in" and make friends with their target's daughter, Jessica Shang. The CIA needs to know what the fabled Chinese gangster is up to and stop him before his evil doings. Jessica and father Leo arrive in a parade of expensive SUVs surrounded by huge bodyguards. Ben is worried how he will ever make contact with all the goons around, but team member and BFF Erica always has a plan.
It wasn't Ben's fault that once he caught sight of Jessica, it colored his perspective. Erica's reaction to Ben's crush is a cross between angry girlfriend and pouting little girl. The closer Ben gets to Jessica puts Erica on edge. Could it be because Leo Shang wants Ben dead or maybe because Erica truly likes Ben herself?
Spy Ski School is a laugh out loud novel for middle grades and up. Some scenes are sheer slapstick-- reminiscent of early television's "The Three Stooges" or Charlie Chaplin's skits. Somehow falling down on ice skates and causing a people pile is really funny and trying to walk like a human while wearing ski boots is equally as charming. There really isn't any way to be "cool" on the ski slopes. Ben doesn't have to act like he's undercover; he is a natural, lovable oaf that any bad guy would never expect he was really a seasoned spy.
The electricity between Ben and Erica is heating up to a fever pitch, and working side by side risking their lives on a daily basis heightens their senses. The banter between the two teens is often hysterical and always entertaining. Stuart Gibbs is a master of story telling! Spy Ski School has it all! There is more action, more romance, more friendship, more planning, more plotting, more deception, and more spying in this book. These bad guys are using real bullets and they are out for blood.
If you haven't read the Spy School series, you need to get with the program. These are some of my favorite books to recommend at my middle school.
Highly, highly recommended grade 5-up. Buy this series for every reluctant reader, boy or girl They will LOVE it!
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.