- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
VOYAHigh school student Kyle Parker becomes the "secret agent" in this story, but not the type the reader might presume. His parents are splitting up because Kyle's father has been writing, submitting, and rewriting the "great American novel" for six years. His mother, the reluctant breadwinner, finally kicks him out. Kyle secretly vows to act as a literary agent and get his dad's manuscript in front of a publisher. He enlists help from his circle of friends, which include a girl with a crush on him and two obnoxious male pals. They do some rudimentary Internet research and hatch a slapstick plot to filch a copy of the manuscript, get it onto a famous editor's desk, and get Mr. Parker's name on the lips of everyone involved. The girl proves to be quite resourceful, and the male pals put their unusual talents to good use. Their plan is thwarted by inevitable plot twists but by the final page, a happy ending is had by all. Teen readers might find the laid-back writing style acceptable; there are countless one word, run-on, or incomplete sentences and an invisible narrator's insertions of the "Yes, you read that right" variety. The dialogue and actions of the teens sometimes seem unrealistic and jump from elementary to sophisticated as dictated by the plot. Barring these distractions, the clever story is a quick read and a bit of fun. The debut co-authors are a television personality and an English teacher who might produce a sequel as some story lines remain unresolved. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2005, Atheneum/S & S, 240p., Ages 11 to 15.