Spy School (Compact Disc)
Can an undercover nerd become a superstar agent? Ben Ripley sure hopes so-and his life may depend on it Ben Ripley may only be in middle school, but he's already pegged his dream job: C.I.A. or bust. Unfortunately for him, his personality doesn't exactly scream secret agent. In fact, Ben is so awkward, he can barely get to school and back without a mishap. Because of his innate nerdiness, Ben is not surprised when he is recruited for a magnet school with a focus on science-but he's entirely shocked to discover that the school is actually a front for a junior C.I.A. academy. Could the C.I.A. really want him? Actually, no. There's been a case of mistaken identity-but that doesn't stop Ben from trying to morph into a supercool undercover agent, the kind that always gets the girl. And through a series of hilarious misadventures, Ben realizes he might actually be a halfway decent spy...if he can survive all the attempts being made on his life.
This young adult historical fiction packs an absolutely powerful punch and it absolutely blew me away. It is ENORMOUSLY FUN to read, and it’s rich with juicy historical goodness, from the locations to the language used to the many chaotic adventures our characters get wrapped up in. The story introduces Monty, a young British lord being groomed to grow up as a gentleman, but to absolutely no avail. Before he takes over his family’s estate (much to his father’s chagrin), Monty embarks on a Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend (whom he’s disastrously in love with), and his sister, but they end up on a whirlwind manhunt across Europe that leaves behind everything they knew before! Full of mayhem and mystery and written with such wit, this book is also balanced with commentary about many historical prejudices involving race, sexuality, and physical ability that persisted in history.
Fall in love with their story, and be sure not to miss the sequel, Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy!
(Young Adult Historical Fiction and Romance, Ages 16+) - reviewed by Isabel