Operation Code-Cracker by John Townsend
Black Cats Series. Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781472906816
(Age: 8-10) Recommended. Themes: Codes, Spies, Mystery, Adventure. The Black Cats series written by popular British authors targets the newly confident and high interest-low reading age audience. The chapters are shorter, some illustrations are included and the novels are structured to build reading confidence.
John Townsend's Operation Code-Cracker is filled with spies, action, adventure, clues, codes and car-chases. Max is staying with his father in his old run-down house in London. When his football disappears into the neighbour's yard, Max is caught up in a spy network. The creepy man Max calls The Child Catcher has been watching the father and son, knows all their routines and recruits the ten year old boy to help in a situation of national security. The reader is drawn into the action with codes and puzzles to solve, Max's special skills help to save the situation. Max enlists his Gran's help they hop in her pink Morris Minor convertible, and race across London to save Miya who has been kidnapped. A surprising ending brings this story to a thrilling conclusion.