Making the Grade / Evil Spy School

Hello! Making the GradeEvery few months or so, I come across an article or tweet that denounces those that read middle grade or young adult novels in adulthood. As an avid reader of MG fiction myself, I am saddened that some find it okay, or even necessary, to shame other bookworms – I’ve always thought that reading is reading, regardless of how old the character of the book is. I alternate between various styles of literature, but no genre brings a smile to my face as often as my middle grade reads; my favorites are not only fun to read, but incredibly well-written too! Stuart Gibbs is just one of many authors I recommend on a frequent basis, and his latest release, Evil Spy School, illustrates the best of the middle grade genre. I enjoyed it, as I’m sure you will as well, no matter what your age.

When Ben gets kicked out of the CIA’s spy school, he enrolls with the enemy. This companion to Spy School and Spy Camp is rife with action, adventure, and espionage.

During a spy school game of Capture the Flag, twelve-year-old Ben Ripley somehow accidentally shoots a live mortar into the principal’s office and immediately gets himself expelled. Not long after going back to the boring old real world, Ben gets recruited by evil crime organization SPYDER. And he accepts.

As a new student in SPYDER’s evil spy school, which trains kids to become bad guys with classes like Counter Counterespionage and Laying Low 101, Ben does some secret spying of his own. He’s acting as unofficial undercover agent, and it becomes quickly apparent that SPYDER is planning something very big and very evil.

Ben can tell he’s a key part of the plan, but he’s not quite sure what the plan is. Can Ben figure out what SPYDER is up to and get word to the good guys without getting caught before it’s too late? {Goodreads}

Evil Spy SchoolNeed more convincing? Here’s what other reviewers had to say.
“The story moves forward at a steady pace, providing some clues and questions.  With about a third of the book left, things really explode and it becomes a fast paced sprint to the end.  Along the way, everything that has happened before comes back into play” {read the rest of the review at Corsairs Considers HERE}.

“Pitch perfect middle grade novel. Well meaning but accident prone main character who also gets to be a SPY. A frisson of romance. Things blowing up. Awesome cover; glad the series is staying the same. It’s hard to keep this series on the shelf” {read the rest of the review at Ms. Yingling Reads HERE}.

“Ben is as witty and entertaining a protagonist as ever, and readers will get a kick out of his new “friends” at evil-spy school. Ashley Sparks, a bitter ex-gymnast robbed of her chance for Olympic gold but carrying a torch for Ben, is a particularly welcome addition” {read the rest of the review at Kirkus Reviews HERE}.

Let’s discuss! Have you read Evil Spy School? Do you gravitate towards mysteries or spy-related novels? Finally, I would love to hear your thoughts on what seems like a favorite subject of the media: adults reading YA or middle grade.

Have a lovely start to your week!


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