Also Known As

Also Known As

Maggie is bored by the usual assignments, but having to go to high school for the first time? This could be the teenage spy’s toughest job yet!

She and her parents work undercover for the Collective, stopping human trafficking and stifling illegal weapons sales through their unique talents for language decoding, computer hacking, and safe-cracking – Maggie’s special gift. A dozen passports with a dozen names and too many moves during her lifetime to count… at least Angelo, the world’s best forger and friend, is always by the family’s side, discreetly, of course.

When they received the call to keep a New York City magazine publisher from running a story about the Collective (with names, aliases, and lots of photos), it fell to the 17-year-old to get the goods through his teenage son Jesse at the posh private high school. And she has to wear a uniform?!

These privileged teens have known one another forever, so being the new kid means being an outsider - almost as much an outsider as Roux, who alienated the whole school last year with her bad behavior. Of course, it’s Roux who takes Maggie under her wing, convinces her to ditch school once in a while, and manages to get them into Jesse’s penthouse during a party.

When the thumbdrive that Maggie liberates from Mr. Oliver’s home office safe doesn’t contain the article notes after all, she has to get closer to Jesse to figure out where the volatile materials could be.

She didn’t count on falling for Jesse himself, or Jesse falling for her, or Roux spilling the beans about their first date, or possibly being pulled off the case and losing them both forever!

How long can she keep Jesse in the dark about why she met him?

Can she find the article documents before it’s too late?

Will her first kiss be her only kiss?

Racing through the streets of Manhattan, avoiding the evil eye in the school halls, trying to imagine how her life will be when this assignment ends – Maggie finds action and adventure and a little romance in this debut novel.

Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA – blogging young adult books beyond the bestsellers at http://BooksYALove.blogspot.com

Recommended for ages 12 and up   336 pages   978-0802735454

******

From the first sentence, "I cracked my first lock when I was three," readers will be captivated  and taken for an entertaining ride. Maggie Silver has always been a spy; it's in her blood. Maggie and her parents work for the Collective, a secret international spy ring that  rights corporate wrongs and takes down evil, corrupt  government bullies.Maggie's latest assignment takes her family to New York City and to a prestigious private school. Maggie is to infiltrate high school and befriend Jesse Oliver, the son of a magazine editor. Armand Oliver is planning to run a story on the Collective and "name names"--putting every spy in the Collective in danger. Maggie must get in close with Jesse, hack into his father's computer, and destroy the files about the Collective--all this, and still pass Chemistry and French classes!Readers will love Maggie: she  is funny, ironic, sardonic and sarcastic; she is also amazingly adept at the hyperbolic statement. Getting ready for her first day, Maggie pumps herself up by telling herself, "You could eat these kids for breakfast. You won't, though, because that would be cannibalistic and wrong."When Maggie befriends former mean girl Roux, they become fast, albeit awkward, friends. Roux fills Maggie in on Jesse's personality and history. Sparks fly when Maggie finally meets Jesse. He is so different than what she expected. She actually likes him! Readers will like Jesse, too. He is that guy that girls will swoon over. Charming, awkward, and unsure of himself in social situations, but oh, so handsome, Jesse is the perfect crush-worthy male lead.Beautiful, eye-catching cover art is appealing and smart. The pink letters A,K,A stand out on the green background and barely visible words become distinguishable when the light catches the cover.  The words on the book: Mole, Espionage, Emissary, Detective, Sleuth, Undercover, Informant, Spy, and Double Agent are "hidden" on the cover. I love the play of the title Also Known As and then those hidden words because a spy happens to be all of those things. The publisher reveals an adept hand in packaging for the teen market.Highly, highly recommended grade 7-up. Readers who love a great spy  (tacular) book will love Also Known As. Some not so "bad" words: sh#& and as#. Roux jokes about drinking and does, in fact, get hammered at a party, but Maggie and Jessie make sure she gets home safely, and they don't imbibe. No sex, a few kisses.
Recommended by:  Pamela Thompson, MLIS, Library Media Specialist, Texas USA
 To see more of her recommendations:  http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/

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