**** Excellent.

The main character is a boy, but a strong girl character is his partner throughout most of the book.

Abou 200 pages.

Jack Dervish, Super Spy

JC Andrijeski

In short: After Jack’s superspy parents go missing, he hides in their secret lair for years…learning how to be the perfect spy.  Now he has to face a terrible challenge:  in order to find his parents, he has to to learn how to act like a normal kid.

Jack Dervish’s parents disappeared when he was four years old.  He was smart enough to hide out in his parents’ secret lair under the house, even after new people moved in upstairs.  Living off his parents’ savings and by using the Internet, Jack survived more or less alone.

But on his twelfth birthday, Jack finally realizes that a) he cannot accept that his parents are dead and b) they aren’t going to be able to come back on their own.  He decides to go on a quest to rescue them; however, he has no idea where they could be, or what they were involved in when they left (well, he was four).

He decides that the only way to search for his parents is to go into the outside world.  And that means…pretending to be a normal kid.  After eight years in his parents’ secret hideout with nobody to talk to (except for a few people over the Internet), it won’t be easy.

Despite making a ton of mistakes (including deciding that “Rasputin” is a good name for a kid), Jack faces down bullies, fools the school into thinking he’s from a foreign country, and makes a couple of friends that like him despite his really weird way of doing things.

However, Isobel is one of the worst friends that he could have made; her father works for the Homeland Security Office…and is out to capture Jack and find the truth of where he really lives, and the source of all his gadgets.  The thing is, Mr. Spencer knows something about Jack’s parents…why else would he have a picture of them?

I had a lot of fun reading this.  Jack does not fit in, and that’s what fifth grade was all about for me: being smart and not fitting in.  If you enjoyed The Mysterious Benedict Society or the Artemis Fowl books, I highly recommend this book.  I thought the beginning was a little silly–a four year old living on his own?  Really?–but hey, why not?  This looks like the start of a fun series.  Lots of gadgets, traps, and sneaking about.

Book Description (from the author’s website):

Jack Dervish was just four-years-old when the nasty incident took place at 74 Eaton Place and his super-spy parents vanished. Now Jack is twelve, and after years of living in his parents’ super-spy lair, training in every manner of super-spy skills, he’s decided it’s time to attend school. After all, how can he foil the international crime syndicate and fight evil if he can’t pass as a normal, youngish Londoner? Unfortunately, Jack quickly catches the attention of the Homeland Security Office…along with the most dangerous bullies at St. John’s Preparatory School. His only hope lies in his new friends, Isobel, William and Squid, and the super-spy skills he’s never had the opportunity to test, at least not against actual people. When the evil mastermind following him ends up being linked to the disappearance of Jack’s parents, Jack is determined to find out what the man knows, no matter what it takes.

About JC Andrijeski (from Amazon.com):

JC Andrijeski is a bestselling Amazon author who has published novels and short stories, as well as nonfiction essays and articles. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and webzines, and a children’s story in the illustrated anthology Ogner Stump’s 1,000 Sorrows by Wonderella. She also published a graphic novel set in the world created in her Bridge series, and has penned the occasional screenplay. Her nonfiction articles cover subjects from graffiti art, meditation, psychology, journalism and history, and have been published in online literary magazines as well as print venues such as NY Press newspaper and holistic health magazines.

Obtaining an MA in political science from the New School for Social Research (NSSR) in NYC, she did most of my graduate level studies in the areas of race and caste systems, slave and ex-slave systems, religion and its impacts on social systems, and historical weirdnesses she didn’t understand more generally, which fitted her surprisingly well for both fiction writing and being extremely annoying at parties.

She moved from NYC to San Francisco in 1997, and since then has lived or spent considerable time in India, Vancouver BC, San Francisco, Albuquerque, Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, San Diego, Prague, London, Berlin, Sydney and Swinoujscie, Poland. She currently lives in McLeod Ganj, India, a location she drew on a fair bit in writing the Allie’s War books.

Please visit JC Andrijeski’s website at: http://www.jcandrijeski.com or her blog at http://jcandrijeski.blogspot.com.

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