No one really pays that much attention to children, and no one expects them to be doing anything very important. That is exactly what the creators of the Cherubs are counting on. They've brought a group of children to a "school" in London where they are being trained in espionage. They're learning the martial arts and other skills so that they can maximize their effectiveness. Just how successful can a ten-year-old be at flying under the radar? Great for the readers who love the Alex Ryder books.
This book is the first in a series of novels featuring CHERUB, an organization of secret agents who are highly trained, highly skilled, highly successful, and all under the age of 17! Based on a model from the French resistence, where children proved to be some of the most useful operatives in the fight against the German occupation, CHERUB was created as a special branch of MI5, and has proved to be a highly effective undercover investigative agency, since adults never suspect that children might be spying on them. This opening novel introduces 11 year old James Choke, who is recruited into CHERUB after the death of his mother, and his placement into a children’s care home. After getting into trouble in the group home, James wakes the following morning to discover himself in a training facility for CHERUB recruits, where he undergoes a rigorous training regime to discover whether he has the talents to become a full fledged CHERUB operative. The book follows James through his training and his activities during his first mission, when he is sent undercover into a hippy style enclave called Fort Harmony. Suspected of harboring terrorists who are planning to attack a meeting of top executives of an oil conference, James and partner Amy Collings are charged with uncovering the terrorist connection and stopping the attack. They unearth a plot to release anthrax into the air vents of the conference center, and successfully foil the terrorists, earning James his acceptance as a full fledged CHERUB agent.
First published in Great Britain, this series by Robert Muchamore has amassed a worldwide following, and is now being released in the U.S. An exciting novel that begs comparison to the Alex Ryder series, this book plays upon every teen age boy’s fascination with and desire to be a secret agent. Every aspect of the book feeds into this, from the descriptions of Jame’s gaming-console loaded bedroom, to the secret campus full of karate trained students, up to the awarding of his "mission accomplished" t-shirt and the admiration of his fellow students on his successful return. While the novel gets off to a somewhat slower start than the Ryder books, it still manages to grip the readers and keep them turning pages. The descriptions of Jame’s training regime and the hidden campus facility are particularly engaging, and background information is provided in such a way as to add realism to an otherwise somewhat unlikely premise. The portrayals of some likeable and interesting supporting characters add appeal, as well as providing suggestions of future story developments. The plot moves along quickly, and is delivered with a sprinkling of humor. Bite sized chapters keep the action moving, and while the dialog may lack something in realism, this is not enough of a fault to derail the plot or put off the readers. This action packed novel will have great appeal for teen readers. Offer this to your action/adventure readers, and they’ll be lining up for the next volumes in the series..
Recommended by Linda Lucke, Learning Center Director