I hear our country is recruiting right now to hire more spies! What exciting times we live in. Our city library will present Spy School as one of our wonderful K-6 Summer Reading Program afternoon activities. Learn your special agent name, try on a disguise, perform surveillance, and break codes. A “laser maze” will be erected to test stealthy skills. One of the missions in the Summer Reading Program “Reading Takes You Everywhere” is to attend a program.
There are a surprising number of wonderful Ninja picture books, some of which I’ll be sharing at the 3-5 year old preschool story time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Canyon Country in June. Some of my favorites are The Ninjabread Man by C.J.Leigh, Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta, Ninja Boy Goes to School by Nathan Wilson, Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Schwartz, Secrets of Ninja School by Deb Pilutti, and The three Ninja Pigs by David Bedford.
Another popular character from picture books is Olivia and Ian Falconer has written Olivia the Spy. Ninja Meerkats is a series young readers would enjoy by Gareth Jones. The covers labels these mammals “small, furry, deadly”. Titles include: Eye of the Monkey, Hollywood Showdown, and Escape from Ice Mountain. Horrible Harry and the Wedding Spies and Horrible Harry and the Top Secret Hangout are easy chapter books by Suzy Kline for ages 7-10.
In the world of Lego Ninjago, Greg Farshtey has written Cole who is the earth ninja part of a chapter book series featuring masters of Spinjitsu. Some of these popular Lego books are also in our catalog as eBooks. Lego Ninjago books exist as a graphic novel series also authored by Farshtey.
Spy School is a series by Stuart Gibb for middle grades. That is in fact the title of Book 1 but it is followed by Evil Spy School. Most of this series is also available as an audio book and or eBook. Check out Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen, or Science Fair: a story of mystery, danger, international suspense and a very nervous frog ages 10 and up written by humorist Dave Barry. Peril of King’s Creek: a Felicity Mystery by Elizabeth Jones ages 9 + is part of our American Girl Series. Short-Wave Mystery is from the Hardy Boys by Franklin Dixon. Inside Job (and other skills I learned as a super spy) by Jackson Pearce is targetted for ages 8-12 . Clayton Stone, Facing Off by Ena Jones features a middle school spy.
A spy called James the true story of James Lafayette, Revolutionary War double agent, by Anne Rockwell is a good introduction to day to day activities in historical counter espionage with a book and 15 min. CD in hanging bag. Nurse, Soldier, spy: the story of Sarah Edmonds, a civil war hero, is rated AR 4.9.
Boys of Wartime: Daniel at the Siege of Boston, 1776 by Laurie Calkhoven for ages 9-11 is the first in a new series. Nathan Hale: revolutionary spy by Nathan Olson is a popular biography in graphic novel format: 32 pages.
Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by Bob Plugfelder is a “mystery with a blinking bleeping voice-recording gadget glove you can build yourself” 270 pages. Solar Powered Showdown another entry in the Nick and Tesla series includes directions to extend the reading experience with hands-on. These are fun ways to get into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for the summer.
I have included a few young adult novels since many of our sixth graders could be ready to tackle these. Stormbreaker written by Anthony Horowitz is part of Alex Rider series. Marvel spies Black Widow and her new assistant Red Widow are the central characters the YA novel titled Red Vengeance by Margaret Stohl. Darkest Hour by Caroline Tung Richmond is YA fiction about covert ops during occupation set in 1943.
Let’s not forget non-fiction offerings! Master Spy Handbook non-fiction 327.12 by Rain Newcomb should intrigue our spy-wannabees. Its cover boasts “Help our intrepid hero use gadgets, codes & top-secret tactics to save the world from evildoers.” Killer Lipstick and other spy gadgets by Ron Dauf 327.12 is an entry from the Series 24/7 Science behind the scenes. Blast through the Past Spies and Secret Agents by Rachel Minay reveals the historical 411 on spies from China, Rome, Medieval agents, disguises and thrilling details from World Wars 1 & 2. Use of glossary, maps, and index can lead to further exploration. Defending the Nation, the CIA by John Hamilton is also found on the 327.12 shelf.
Did your family have some adventures as a ninja, spy or double agent infiltrating our library, perhaps in cleverly devised disguises? Did you use codes, gadgets or best of all your wits against the evil forces? We love that Reading Can Take You Anywhere!