by Stuart Gibbs
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
I picked up Spy School for two reasons. First, it is a Colorado Children's Book Award Nominee this year, and second, a student checked it out last week and came in two days later saying "Ohmygosh, Mrs.Covington this book is AMAZING howhaveyounotreadityet?!?!"
I didn't have an answer, and I didn't have a book to read that night, so I took it home. And I'm glad I did! It's a great read - just enough suspense to keep me reading, along with some truly humorous moments.
Ben Ripley is a 12-year-old dork. There's no two ways about it. When he comes home from school one day to find out he's being recruited for the undercover CIA spy school, he's overjoyed. Finally, he'll be able to do something cool. Unfortunately, it's all top secret - he can't even tell his best friend. However during his first day at spy school, after being shot at a few times and fighting off an attacker in his dorm room with a tennis racket, he finds out that he actually didn't qualify for spy school - they brought him in to use as a decoy to flush out a mole within the school. Luckily for the CIA, Ben is actually smarter than he seems and he turns out to be a pretty good agent-in-training, especially since his life is on the line.
While the plot is extremely fantastic, and I was a little annoyed with how absolutely inept every single adult in the book was portrayed, Spy School is a fun read. And though I'll admit I figured out who the mole was before the book actually revealed it, I will say it took some re-reading and deep thinking for me to actually figure it out. I would say this book is a great read for anyone between 4th and 7th grade - depending on their reading level, and it's a great read for any kid who likes spy novels.