16 year-old “Boy Nobody” is the perfect assassin working for a mysterious organization called the Program who hires children to be killers. Since his father was taken away by a close friend when Boy was 12 he has always been under the assumption that both of his parents are dead.
Now employed by the Program, he calls the heads of the organization “Mother” and “Father”. They take care of him and train him to be a dispassionate teenage assassin erasing the memories he had of his childhood before.
Boy Nobody is the new kid in school who no one notices. He moves into a new town, starts school at the high school under a new name, finds the right people to be his few friends and works his way into their families. When a member of their family mysteriously dies he exits quietly and waits for his next assignment.
When he is assigned the mayor of New York City he becomes friends with the mayor’s daughter Sam. As time passes he remembers more and more from his real family life before the Program. As he gets to know the mayor he is reminded of his real father and the love they felt. He finds himself starting to ‘really’ like Sam more than a friend and his memoriess of his real childhood are starting to be more frequent.
Boy Nobody has always been the perfect assassin, following all the rules but as his memories start to return he has to wonder if somewhere deep inside that he really is “somebody”. Will his new feelings push him to sabotage this assignment? Why after all this time is it so hard for him to follow through and get out?
Short chapters and plenty of action make this a great book for reluctant readers – both boys and girls.
978-408327609 337 pages Ages 12 and up
Recommended by: Joleen Waltman, Librarian, Idaho USA
Boy Nobody, by Allen Zadoff
“Boy Nobody” is a teenager who is given different names and backgrounds by a secret government organization (“The Program”) which trained him as an assassin and assigns him constantly new targets in new towns. He comes in as the “new kid,” makes friends with a target’s child, then uses that connection to get in close to the target and kill them, making it appear that they died of natural causes.
He must deal with target’s support staff that want to kill him, and with a shadowy threat whom he cannot identify but knows is shadowing him. There are various moral problems to be dealt with: How was he brought into the Program, what will happen if he fails in a mission, what will happen if he wants out?
Boy Nobody is given a too-short period of time to get in close to an important politician and make the kill – the politician is well guarded and they like one another. When Boy Nobody doesn’t use his opportunity to do the assassination, he is given an even shorter time to kill someone else, someone for whom he cares a lot.
Can Boy Nobody kill someone he may be falling in love with, and why does The Program require her to die? This is a great book that I recommend highly, and a very fast read – read it before they make it into a movie!