Wednesday, June 19, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: DAWN UNDERCOVER


image: DAWN UNDERCOVER mystery book review
DAWN UNDERCOVER mystery book review

DAWN UNDERCOVER
Anna Dale
Bloomsbury
2005

Available: paperback & Kindle

Eleven-year-old Dawn Buckle is one of those kids that nobody seems to notice.  Teachers never call on her at school. Her parents are so busy they forget she's around. It takes forever to get waited on in a store because it seems the salesclerks don't even see her. This might make other girls mad, but Dawn's used to being ignored. One day something amazing happens.
She's spotted walking down the street by someone driving a green car. It even follows her to school. It's a little scary, but exciting, too. For the first time in her life she's not invisible. That evening a posh lady comes to her home and offers Dawn a job. At first Dawn's parents are reluctant, but then again they do have a super busy summer schedule and it might be nice not to have to worry about their daughter. So in the end, Dawn is whisked away to P.S.S.T. (Pursuit of Scheming Spies and Traitors) headquarters. She's the youngest spy they've ever trained. After a few whirlwind spy-training sessions, she's off again. Her mission is to track down a mastermind criminal who's outwitted S.H.H. (Strictly Hush Hush) for years.
This was a lot of fun. The tongue-and-cheek humor is just right. Funny, but not too over-the-top. There are lots suspects. Quirky characters. Lots of sleuthing. Lots of high tech spy tools. Lots of adventure, danger and intrigue. Plus it's nice to watch Dawn's transformation from invisible and ignored to confident and empowered.

Target audience: Grades 6-8
Mystery/suspense: Well done
Kid appeal: Good


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