My kids have enjoyed Mac Barnett’s books for awhile now, most recently with his The Terrible Two series, and we recently read his latest – Mac B., Kid Spy. As a teen Barnett would tell tall tales of his adventures when he was younger to the kids he worked with at summer camp and that’s the idea with this “autobiographical” series.
The conceit is that when he was a kid the author had been asked to be a spy for the Queen of England. His mission is to locate the stolen Crown Jewels.
I’m a sucker for spy books and when I can share my love of spies with my kids? Even better. So I was really looking forward to this one and it didn’t disappoint.
It’s appropriately absurd while dropping in real facts about the Tower of London and the Lubyanka. If I can get my 6 and 8 year olds recognizing the Lubyanka as the headquarters of the KGB, this spy fan dad is doing something right.
The accompanying pictures by Mike Lowery are fun and a perfect match for the tone of the story.
The author starts the story with this quote –
David Cornwell is of course the real person behind the pseudonym of John le Carré. To be sure, the number of books in the middle of the Venn diagram of kids books, spies and John le Carré is rather small, but this one hits it. For me, any kids book that starts with a quote from le Carré has my vote.
More importantly however, my kids thought the book was hilarious and in this case their thoughts count more than mine.
A sequel is already set for a December release so more spy adventures are on the way.