Set in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, with the CIA Headquarters around the corner, 12-year-old Will Wand, Agent 003.5, has his first assignment - to save the world, or at least to uncover the mole in his mother's advertising company. Will strongly suspects his bossy, annoying cousin Penelope, visiting from the U.K., is a double agent, and when he finds he diary written in code, he knows he's onto something ... but if you hear any more, he'll have to kill you (or at least confiscate your Star Wars walkie-talkie).
I can't say enough good things about this book. Big Boys Don't Spy is the ideal book for any Middle Grade boy or girl. Full of the whimsy of childhood and the real-life hardships that many families experience, it is a fun and relatable read.
Will Wand is an imaginative and eccentric middle child. He is obsessed (to put it mildly) with all things SPY. His father died two years ago and he lives with his busy mother, distant older brother and can't forget his Monster of a younger brother, Tristan. His British cousin Penelope (Pen) comes to visit him for a few weeks in the summer. He is most certainly not looking forward to it . . . until they find common ground when it comes to their interest in the art of spying. During their covert adventures they end up forming a great friendship that was wonderfully developed. I truly loved this book!
My kids aren't old enough to read this one yet, but it is one that I will for sure be reading to them in the future. I think it is appealing to boys AND girls (and parents as well). A lot of the quirky, weird things that kids do was portrayed perfectly throughout the story. The more serious issues of loss and sadness were addressed in an appropriate and understandable way for younger readers.
I highly recommend this one!
Publication Date: December 1, 2010
Genre: Middle Grade
Source: Thanks to author K.E.M. Johnston for my review copy!