November 13, 2010

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You - by Ally Carter

No, Mister K has not become a teen girl, even though that's the ideal audience for this book.  When I saw a fourth-grade girl reading this at lunch last week, I just had to see what it was all about, with a title like that.  It turned out to be a very enjoyable book, the first in what seems like a well-written, action-packed series of spy novels for 12-year-old girls.

Cammie is a sophomore at the Gallagher School for Exceptional Girls, which seems like an expensive prep school for smart rich girls, but is actually a top-secret spy academy, where the world's best secret agents (who all happen to be female) are trained.  Not only does Cammie speak 14 languages, know how to kill with her bare hands, and have expert disguise and camouflage techniques, but she's also got a crush on a local boy, and and this is one situation that her training did NOT prepare her for.

Like the best school stories (Harry Potter, Andrew Clements books, and so on), this one features a spunky main character who has some shortcomings that her best friends help to balance out.  The three main girls have a series of adventures in and around their school, and along the way the reader gets an excellent feel for the setting of the series, and the interesting characteristics of the main batch of characters.  It's like a mix between Harry Potter (rule-breaking kids at a boarding school full of oddball teachers) and Alex Rider (teenager turned into a dangerous and talented spy), but is much more girly than either.  Girls, you've got to check this one out.

Special thanks to Chloe, a possible Gallagher girl herself, for introducing me to this series. She serves excellent tea! (Finish the book and you'll get it too.)


Momo said...

Mr K this comment has nothing to do with this book review but I just wanted to tell you to get your hands on a new Australian book called Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner - you will love it! Check out my review if you like.
Thanks again for your blog you really do inspire me.

Mary said...

The girls at my Middle School love the breezy but intelligent style of this series. I've only been able to read the first one since they are always checked out.

Ms. Yingling said...

I had a boy check this one out yesterday and I told him "My son LOVED this book." Which he did. It does have a lot of action and adventure, it's just from the point of view of the girl. Girls read a lot of books with boy protagonists. Go, Mister K. You can be part of our February "Boys Read Pink" challenge.