Believe it or not, there are some drawbacks to being a 16-year old safecracker, daughter of spies, and member of a Robin Hood-esque organization that fights corruption. On the list: never getting to stay in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend, being the only spy ever to have a 10 p.m. curfew, and being sent on assignment to Russia. In the winter. For Maggie Silver, the major perk thus far has been the avoidance of high school, and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple Masterlocks on the lockers(If it’s three digits or less, why even bother?). But when Maggie and her parents are sent to New York on a major assignment, though, all of that changes. She’ll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school’s security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the information she needs to crack the case, all while trying not to blow her cover.
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Robin Benway is the acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! and The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June, both ALA Best Books for Young Adults, among other honors. Benway’s books have been published in sixteen languages, won numerous international awards, and been bestsellers in several countries. Formerly a bookseller and book publicist, she lives in Los Angeles.From Booklist:
*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. Grades 7-10. --Ilene Cooper
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