Playing with Fire (School for Spies Series #1)by Bruce Hale, Brandon Dorman
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Juvenile delinquent and budding pyromaniac Max Segredo belongs in juvie hall. At least, that's what his most recent foster family would tell you. Instead, Max ends up on the doorstep of Merry Sunshine Orphanage—their very heavily guarded doorstep. As he begins to acclimate to his new home, Max learns a few things straightaway: first, cracking a Caesar Cipher isn't as hard as it seems; second, never sass your instructor if she's also holding throwing knives; and third, he may not be an orphan after all. Soon, Max and the rest of the students are sent on a mission to keep a dangerous weapon out of the hands of LOTUS, an international group bent on world domination. Of course, all Max cares about is finding out more about his father, the man he's now sure is still alive. As the stakes get higher, Max must make some difficult choices, including who to trust, and finally learns the true meaning of family.
Hale threads the narrative with colorful metaphors and throwaway lines and festoons it with high- and low-tech tools of spycraft. One character's sudden murder aside, the tone is mostly light, with family issues and conflicting loyalties (driven by troubling revelations about Max's dad) for added texture.This lightweight kid-spy romp should find some eager readers."Kirkus Reviews
PRAISE FOR PLAYING WITH FIRE"
The book has nonstop action, clear detailed descriptions, and a plot that's easy to follow. . . . a good introduction to the genre."
School Library Journal
Meet the Author
Edgar-nominated author Bruce Hale (www.brucehale.com) is passionate about inspiring reluctant readers to read. He has written or illustrated more than 25 seriously funny books for children, including the popular Chet Gecko Mysteries series and the comics-novel hybrid, Underwhere, as well as picture books such as Snoring Beauty and Moki and the Magic Surfboard. An actor and a Fulbright Scholar in Storytelling, Bruce is in demand as a speaker, having presented at conferences, universities, and schools across North America. His acting resume includes regional commercials, theater, and an independent film, "The Ride". Bruce's book The Malted Falcon was an Edgar Award Finalist. Murder, My Tweet won the Little D Award for Humor Writing. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Orphan Max Segredo was wrongly blamed for burning his foster parents’ house. He did NOT do it! But anyway, this little incident earns him the title of “Pyromaniac.” Thus, Max finds himself at the Merry Sunshine Orphanage as a last chance before landing in juvenile hall. Max soon finds out that this isn’t an ordinary orphanage – it teaches special skills – SPY skills! At the spy school/orphanage, Max learns: to pick locks, break codes, and do martial arts, among other things. Max also learns that his dad is still alive (via coded message) Soon Max finds himself on a dangerous mission trying to stop smugglers, and an evil group of spies while trying to find his dad! This is a great book! I love spies (that’s on my list of what I want to be when I grow up) and this book was AWESOME!!! I REALLY really really want a sequel to this book (and seeing that it’s book 1, I expect a book 2!), and I can’t wait to read book 2 when it comes out! Max is a great character! I like how Max adapts very well to the situations in the school. I like Mr. Hale’s writing style – he adds just the right amount of humor, action, and sarcasm in this exciting book! *NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Nice I want to read the 2nd book 3rd to
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