Review Blog

Oct 26 2015

The Double Cross (and other skills I learned as a Superspy) by Jackson Pearce

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Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781619634145
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Themes: Espionage; Children's abilities; Adventure. This is the book I would have wanted to read as a young reader - it is a spy novel with young spies that manage to outsmart older spies, while coping with the normal problems of life. The main character, Hale Jordan, is an overweight and un-athletic Spy School trainee. His training involves dangerous and clever skills that would prepare him for his life of espionage - telling lies without detection, costumery and camouflage disguises, and many more intense skills. However his inability to pass the physical training component of his schooling proves to be a constant problem and the teasing that he suffers as a result acts as a constant thorn in his side. His parents are senior agents who live dangerous lives, but then disappear in a cloud of mystery. Hale uses his espionage training to give hope to his acrobatic younger sister, Kennedy, and himself of the return of their parents. Their attempt to uncover truths leads them to become Double agents and rescue other young people from a tangle of lies. Along the way they meet twins, Ben and Beatrix, who work for the 'other side' and are self-taught as a hacker and an inventor (in the style of 'Q' from James Bond feature movies from the past). The adult characters are humorously portrayed and their quirky traits are revealed with a light touch.
This is a book I will highly recommend to young male and female readers aged 9+. It is targeted well at this age group, and is exciting and written well. There are no dry or slow moments - it moves along at a good pace for a younger reader. International espionage with young spies - an accomplished author has made this work.
[Note: Jackson Pearce is a young American, female author who has obviously left room for a sequel to this endearing book.]
Carolyn Hull

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