Wednesday, December 07, 2011

CHERUB Book 1: The Recruit by Robert Muchamore

This British spy book came highly recommended by my avid 6th grade spy reader, Joshua. He says it's the next best thing to the Alex Rider books. There are 12 books in the series but only 4 are currently available in the U.S. So when one of our teachers went to England in September we had him buy the rest of the series. Our middle school book club read this book this month so I finally read it. As an adult who has read every Alex Rider book I was eager to compare. The hero of the story is an orphaned kid with some problems who is recruited into Britain's elite and secretive child spy agency, CHERUB. He must undergo an unbelievable 100-day training that would probably have killed any normal adult and then is sent on his first real mission.  I have to say that I did like the story but I was a bit shocked throughout the book at the language and actions of the 11-year-old main character. It starts right off with an attack, an abusive stepfather, and a drunk and dead mother, and goes on to stealing beer, getting drunk, and a makeout session. I'm making it sound worse than it is, but still, for a book that I thought would be 5th and 6th grade appropriate it was a bit much. As I said the spy story is good, it's just all the other stuff that makes it more for older kids. I would say 7th grade and up for sure.

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