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The Doublecross: (And Other Skills I Learned as a Superspy)
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The Doublecross: (And Other Skills I Learned as a Superspy)

by Jackson Pearce
 

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Everyone in twelve-year-old Hale's family is a spy, going way back. They've all worked for the Sub Rosa Society, an elite organization that's so top secret that new agents aren't recruited; they're born. His parents may be the ultimate spy team at SRS, but Hale isn't your typical stealthy spy-he is, as his mother puts it, “big-boned,” and as some of his

Overview

Everyone in twelve-year-old Hale's family is a spy, going way back. They've all worked for the Sub Rosa Society, an elite organization that's so top secret that new agents aren't recruited; they're born. His parents may be the ultimate spy team at SRS, but Hale isn't your typical stealthy spy-he is, as his mother puts it, “big-boned,” and as some of his classmates put it, “fat.” Still, he's convinced he will someday be a great field agent. After all, it's his legacy.

But when both his mother and father go missing on a secret mission-likely captured by the SRS's number one enemy-it's Hale's time to step up and (with a little help from his acrobat-cheerleader little sister) save the day.

With a hilarious and charismatic cast of characters, popular teen author Jackson Pearce makes a very non-stealthy mission into the middle-grade arena.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/04/2015
Pearce (Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures) spins a thoroughly enjoyable story about a secret spy agency, the Sub Rosa Society, where agents are trained from birth in subjects like Body Language Analysis and Emergency Undercover Ops. Hale Jordan, the chubby 12-year-old son of “The Team”—two of SRS’s most decorated agents—wants desperately to follow in his parents’ footsteps, but he can’t pass the physical exam to become a junior agent. After his parents go missing, Hale’s spy skills are tested in the real world, where villains don’t always look like villains. Pearce’s spy gadgetry and scenes of agent training are clever and fun, but it’s the always-underestimated Hale, with his systematic—and unconventional—approach to every challenge (“Mission: Get sent on Friday’s mission. Step 1: Wait for chili day”), who makes this such an entertaining and memorable story. Fans of the spy-thriller genre may anticipate some of the twists, but Hale’s pursuit of the truth is no less exciting for it. Pearce sets the stage for what could easily become a favorite series. Ages 8–12. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (July)
From the Publisher

“Hale is a quick-thinking and daring underdog, with an impressive arsenal of skills and spy tricks. The book ends on a satisfying note but leaves plenty of room for future sequels. Fast-paced, funny, and full of unexpected plot twists, this spy novel will easily appeal to middle grade adventure fans.” —School Library Journal

“Exciting missions, cool gadgets, and plenty of intrigue make this a fun read from the get-go. The icing on the cake is Hale, whose self-deprecating manner, kind heart, and intelligence will steal hearts as well as the show. International espionage plus wacky high jinks equals plot-twisting fun.” —Kirkus Reviews

“An entertaining and memorable story. . . Pearce sets the stage for what could easily become a favorite series.” —Publishers Weekly

“A zany. . . clever protagonist. Oddball characters with plenty of heart and nifty gadgets will draw in readers who appreciate humorous underdog stories.” —Booklist

“Fairy tales take a modern twist with this action-packed story of strong sisters, deadly wolves, and risky love.” —Melissa Marr, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author, on SISTER RED

“It is easy to care what happens to these characters, even when readers are left wondering who is on the right side and who is not . . . will still satisfy readers looking for a thrill.” —VOYA on SWEETLY

“A hilarious and heartfelt story.” —Jennifer Echols, award-winning author of ENDLESS SUMMER and LOVE STORY, on PURITY

“Fun, light reading that gives thoughtful and conscientious kids center stage.” —Booklist on AS YOU WISH

Children's Literature - Laura Dekle
Hale Jordan was born and is being raised in a spy facility. He’s a master at reading body language and can disable a bomb faster than any of his classmates, but he can’t be a junior agent because he’s overweight and hasn’t passed the required physical exam. His classmates call him “Hale the Whale” and “Fail Hale.” Hale’s former best friend, Walter, became a jerk after he started gaining muscle and popularity, while Hale stayed chubby and became the embodiment of the class underdog. When Hale’s parents go on a top-secret mission and then don’t come back, he does some snooping around and makes it his mission to find out what’s going on. Hale reluctantly teams up with his extremely enthusiastic sister, Kennedy; they meet an eclectic group of people and make discoveries that startle and challenge everything they have been raised to know. Hale’s character is highly relatable, especially to those who are in middle school. Hale’s characterization is complex and his narration is witty and well done. From start to finish, the story engages readers with its strong and rich imagery, clever writing, and exciting story. Reviewer: Laura Dekle; Ages 8 to 12.
School Library Journal
03/01/2015
Gr 4–6—Twelve-year-old Hale Jordan has always dreamed of being a superspy like his parents. But even though he excels at all the classes at SRS (the Sub Rosa Society, the secret agency where he lives with his family), the other students call him Hale the Whale, and he struggles to meet the physical requirements to become a junior agent. When his parents disappear during a mission and SRS seems unwilling to save them, Hale uses all of his spy skills to infiltrate the League, a notorious rival agency. Once inside the League offices, though, he finds that they are filled with old equipment and only one remaining spy. The League's director tells him that they are a government agency that has lost most of its funding and that the real evil organization is SRS. Confused, Hale taps into his own agency's files, and discovers that they have marked his parents to be eliminated on sight. With the help of two kids from the League (Ben, an inventor, and his sister Beatrix, a computer wiz), Hale takes on the dangerous role of double agent to uncover and undermine SRS's plans. Together they discover a plot to kidnap and recruit some of the most talented kids in the world. Hale is a quick-thinking and daring underdog, with an impressive arsenal of skills and spy tricks. The supporting characters are quirky and likable, such as Ben, whose inventions include a jelly bean that turns people purple, and Ben's uncle, Clatterbuck, who disguises himself as a lumber truck driver and a watermelon farmer. The book ends on a satisfying note but leaves plenty of room for future sequels. VERDICT Fast-paced, funny, and full of unexpected plot twists, this spy novel will easily appeal to middle grade adventure fans.—Ashley Larsen, Pacifica Libraries, CA
Kirkus Reviews
2015-04-01
An unlikely hero becomes a double agent to save his parents and possibly the whole world. The Sub Rosa Society headquarters is both a home for international spies and their families and a school for young spies-in-training. With brains and talent to spare, 12-year-old Hale should have no problem with the junior agent test, but his plus size makes passing the physical requirements difficult. When his superspy parents are compromised while on a mission, Hale relies on all his training to rescue them from evil League headquarters—but nothing prepares him for the shock he receives once he arrives. The League HQ is filled with outdated equipment, a couple of quirky kids, and some washed-up operatives. They say they are the good guys, but then what does that make him? Hale must rely on his acrobatic and perky sister, his mortal enemy, and his new League friends if he is going to expose the SRS and save his parents. Exciting missions, cool gadgets, and plenty of intrigue make this a fun read from the get-go. The icing on the cake is Hale, whose self-deprecating manner, kind heart, and intelligence will steal hearts as well as the show. International espionage plus wacky high jinks equals plot-twisting fun. (Thriller. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781619634145
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
07/14/2015
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
379,212
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile:
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Jackson Pearce lives in Atlanta, Georgia, where she graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in Philosophy. She began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn't tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. Her solution was to write the book herself when she was twelve.

Jackson is the author of a series of teen retold fairy-tales, including Sisters Red, Sweetly, Fathomless, and Cold Spell, as well as two stand-alones, As You Wish and Purity. As J. Nelle Patrick, she is the author of Tsarina. The Doublecross is her debut middle-grade.
www.jacksonpearce.com
@JacksonPearce

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