Bound To Stay Bound

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 Doublecross : (and other skills I learned as a superspy)
 Author: Pearce, Jackson

 Publisher:  Bloomsbury (2015)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 291 p.,  21 cm.

 BTSB No: 705652 ISBN: 9781619634145
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Spies -- Fiction
 School stories
 Family life -- Fiction
 Missing persons -- Fiction
 Overweight persons -- Fiction
 Ability -- Fiction

Price: $21.38

Overweight and non-athletic, twelve-year-old Hale may have been born and raised to be a spy for the Sub Rosa Society but it seems he is unlikely to become a Field Agent until his parents are captured by the evil League and Hale sets out on a solo mission to save them.

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 5.60
   Points: 10.0   Quiz: 178156
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 5.30
   Points: 15.0   Quiz: 70083

   Kirkus Reviews (04/15/15)
   School Library Journal (03/01/15)
   Booklist (07/01/15)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 03/01/2015 Gr 4–6—Twelve-year-old Hale Jordan has always dreamed of being a superspy like his parents. But even though he excels at all the classes at SRS (the Sub Rosa Society, the secret agency where he lives with his family), the other students call him Hale the Whale, and he struggles to meet the physical requirements to become a junior agent. When his parents disappear during a mission and SRS seems unwilling to save them, Hale uses all of his spy skills to infiltrate the League, a notorious rival agency. Once inside the League offices, though, he finds that they are filled with old equipment and only one remaining spy. The League's director tells him that they are a government agency that has lost most of its funding and that the real evil organization is SRS. Confused, Hale taps into his own agency's files, and discovers that they have marked his parents to be eliminated on sight. With the help of two kids from the League (Ben, an inventor, and his sister Beatrix, a computer wiz), Hale takes on the dangerous role of double agent to uncover and undermine SRS's plans. Together they discover a plot to kidnap and recruit some of the most talented kids in the world. Hale is a quick-thinking and daring underdog, with an impressive arsenal of skills and spy tricks. The supporting characters are quirky and likable, such as Ben, whose inventions include a jelly bean that turns people purple, and Ben's uncle, Clatterbuck, who disguises himself as a lumber truck driver and a watermelon farmer. The book ends on a satisfying note but leaves plenty of room for future sequels. VERDICT Fast-paced, funny, and full of unexpected plot twists, this spy novel will easily appeal to middle grade adventure fans.—Ashley Larsen, Pacifica Libraries, CA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 07/01/2015 Welcome to SRS (Sub Rosa Society) headquarters—­­a secret, government-funded spy organization. Despite having parents of superspy status (they are known simply as The Team), 12-year-old Hale Jordan is primarily known for being the fat kid, or Hale the Whale. Having lost his only friend to the muscle-­giving god of puberty, Hale chugs along at his own pace, dodging classmates’ taunts and remaining determined to become a junior agent. His opportunity to do real spy work comes sooner than expected, after his parents disappear while working on a top-secret assignment. Clearly SRS’ dastardly enemy, The League, is to blame. When Hale breaks into League headquarters to rescue them, he is in for a shock that will rock his world. Pearce’s first solo novel for middle-graders (she coauthored Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures, 2015, with Maggie Stiefvater) proves a zany, fun adventure, with Hale a kind and clever protagonist. Oddball characters with plenty of heart and nifty gadgets (“I made it from pipe cleaners and lasers”) will draw in readers who appreciate humorous underdog stories. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.

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