|City spies (City Spies)|
Author: Ponti, James
Sara Martinez is facing years in the juvenile detention system for hacking into the foster care computer system to prove that her foster parents are crooks. But then she gets a second chance when a mysterious man offers her a chance to join a group of MI6 affiliated spies.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 507798
Kirkus Reviews (12/01/19)
School Library Journal (03/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 12/15/2019 Caught hacking into the NYC juvenile justice system's computers, 12-year-old Sara Martinez faces years in detention centers, but a British secret agent rescues her and takes her to Scotland. There she joins his small, top-secret team of gifted young spies, each recruited from a different continent. Sara, renamed Brooklyn, trains with Paris, Rio, Kat, and Sydney for a few short weeks before joining the team for a mission in Paris. They are realistically wary of their newest member until she earns their trust. Working undercover as students attending a summit on the environment, they plan to break into a secret research facility and outwit an evil genius. A television writer and producer as well as the author of Framed (2016) and its sequels, Ponti writes a well-paced story laced with suspense, wit, and entertaining dialogue. Events unfold within colorful Parisian settings that include the Eiffel Tower, the Catacombs, and a deceptively shabby-looking hotel run by British Intelligence. Laying the groundwork for a new series, this brisk adventure features mysteries, intrigues, and five clever young heroes. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2020 Gr 4–8—This promising new spy fiction series features a diverse team of orphans, each named for the city from which they hail, brought together under the secret auspices of MI5 by a nattily dressed, fast-talking British male agent they call "Mother." This first title follows the recruitment of a 12-year-old Latina girl named Sara, aka Brooklyn, whose mastery of computer hacking proves to be only one of many clever skills she brings to the team. Relying on short, distinct scenes filled with snappy dialogue, multiple viewpoints, settings in a variety of globally important and glamorous cities, and some key well-foreshadowed reveals, Ponti is clearly drawing from his career as a television producer. A disappointingly small amount of action, humor, character development, or even spying happens in this first book, although the heroes do indeed uncover and thwart one evil plan. However, the backstories of the intriguing characters, the emerging relationships among them, and the promise of more to come will no doubt hook fans of such books as Gordon Korman's "Masterminds" or Beth McMullen's "Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls." VERDICT A cinematic and well-crafted start to a new spy series for middle grades.—Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.