You’ll enjoy this quick read, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter; published by Hyperion Books for Children, New York, 2007; 236 pages.

Cammie Morgan’s sophomore year continues in this sequel to I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You.  After her two week winter break, Cammie is quickly deposited in Washington, D.C. with her mother for debriefing of the fall term; in other words, about Josh.  Cammie has to choose between Josh and spy school, while taking a lie detector test.  What follows is another light-hearted retelling of the exploits of Cammie and three other Gallagher Girls.  But this time, boys have infiltrated the school in an exchange program with Blackthorne (the boys’ spy school). 

While there are details of the school work, the most interesting part of the story is how Cammie deals with a new boy after her crushing relationship with Josh; as well as how Cammie and new friend Zach encounter and deal with Josh, who is now apparently dating DeeDee.  Typical teen angst in an atypical setting provides typical teens with a storyline they can relate to in a circumstance that many teens may fantasize about.  I know I dreamed I was a secret agent sent to live with my parents (who were definitely not my birth parents; they were European royalty for whom I’d sacrificed all to protect them).  Anyway, a heart-pounding mission ends the book and leaves us wondering what the Gallagher Girls will have to face in their junior year.

I enjoyed this quick read for its humor but also for the naive teen perspective on what constitutes a life-and-death situation.  Great prose?  Not really, but for entertainment and a quick diversion, this is a great book in a fun series.  I also appreciate that the girls are typical teens but are also independent and empowered: Go Gallagher Girls!

4P     3Q     Grade Level: 6-9

cross my heartCover Art: The same image of a teen in uniform whose face is unrecognizable is used again (nice job tying the series together), but this time, the blue theme is replace with green and her fingers are crossed, tying in with the title of the book.  Teens will recognize the cover and pick this up to continue the series.  The plaid spine with ransom-letters in the title will also stand out on the shelves.  I think this cover works well for its intended audience.

Suggested Reading List: Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

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