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|Also known as|
Author: Benway, Robin
As the active-duty daughter of international spies, sixteen-year-old safecracker Maggie Silver never attended high school so when she and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, Maggie is introduced to cliques, school lunches, and maybe even a boyfriend.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 158296
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 18.0 Quiz: 61116
School Library Journal (08/01/13)
Booklist (+) (05/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (09/13)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/01/2013 *Starred Review* Maggie, 16, is the daughter of spies and a spy herself, and she is particularly genius at cracking safes. What she has never been is an average teenager. So when her assignment from the Collective—the first she is doing on her own—involves attending private school in Soho, she is all over it. Her job is to get friendly with rich boy Jesse Oliver, whose dad may publish findings that will blow the cover of the Collective and steal the dossier. She doesn’t count on finding a crazy best friend, Roux, and developing feelings for Jesse, which makes milking him for information between kisses particularly icky. The connection between the revealing information and the Olivers is only a MacGuffin, but the mystery element does lead to an exciting, energetic, running-around-NYC ending. What’s really great about this, though, are the voices. Maggie’s smart and mostly sure first-person narrative is extended by the insights of bad, sad girl Roux and Maggie’s elegant spy handler, the British forger Angelo. Even if you don’t think you like spy stories, this one is fresh and fun. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2013 Gr 8 Up—The premise may seem ridiculous: a teen safecracker, daughter of high-level international spies, has an assignment to befriend a young man whose media-mogul father is planning to expose the "Collective" spy ring and steal his documents. But Benway hits just the right notes to make this premise almost plausible, and a fun read as well. While the framework requires more than a little suspension of disbelief, the absolutely delightful cast of characters and snappy dialogue transform this book into a huge success. Smart, confident Maggie, 16, faces a terrifying prospect-she has to attend her very first school in order to meet Jesse Oliver, son of the media mogul. Maggie is thrilled to be able to prove herself as a capable spy, but it's the social stuff that throws her. Fortunately, she meets Roux, a hilarious poor little rich, former "mean girl" outcast as colorful as her name, who ushers her through the indignities of preparing for her first NYC party. As a chick-lit spy caper, Also Known As has it all, from exciting action and adventure to a chaste first kiss. Roux provides a hint of darkness with her sneaky drinking and former sex-capades (which caused the outcast status), but she has a heart of gold, of course. Maggie's parents are a refreshing change from the neglectful types in most YA fiction, and Angelo, her mentor (expert forger and possible assassin?), is one of the strongest characters readers will ever meet. Even Jesse Oliver is more than a pretty face. Plan to have multiple copies of this book available.—Susan Riley, Mamaroneck Public Library, NY - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 09/01/2013 Maggie was an adorable, precocious little lock-picker at the age of three, and she’s now grown into a lovely and talented teenage safecracker, a true help to her parents in their work for the Collective, a spy organization bent on righting the world’s wrongs. She has willingly followed and assisted them in their peripatetic global assignments, but a stateside assignment in need of a teenaged lead is about to put more of her skills to the test. To shut down an impending leak about the Collective’s existence, she must infiltrate a toney New York high school and befriend the son of the informant who may blow the cover on the Collective. See what’s coming? Of course you do. Uncertain how to make friends, she winds up as besties with Roux, an ex-hellion fallen from social grace. Uncertain how to flirt, she nonetheless wins (and ardently returns) the affection of Jesse, the informant’s son. Meanwhile, her loving and protective parents have a near meltdown trying to resolve their critical need for information and the newfound realization that their daughter deserves a life. Make no mistake, spying is mainly the piquant backdrop for the Maggie/Jesse romance; the inevitable bad-guy chase scene isn’t nearly as detailed as the couple’s first date, but the heart-palpitating, soul-satisfying romance make this a rom-com that an entire circle of girlfriends can devour in a week. Have extra copies and Hot Pick labels ready. EB - Copyright 2013 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.