Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Also Known As

Also Known As
by Robin Benway
From the publisher:
"Which is more dangerous: being an international spy... or surviving high school?

Maggie Silver has never minded her unusual life. Cracking safes for the world's premier spy organization and traveling the world with her insanely cool parents definitely beat high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. (If it's three digits, why bother locking it at all?)

But when Maggie and her parents are sent to New York City for her first solo assignment, her world is transformed. Suddenly, she's attending a private school with hundreds of "mean girl" wannabes, trying to avoid the temptation to hack the school's elementary security system, and working to befriend the aggravatingly cute son of a potential national security threat... all while trying not to blow her cover.

From the hilarious and poignant author of Audrey, Wait! comes a fast-paced caper that proves that even the world's greatest spies don't have a mission plan for love."

What a fun book this was! I haven't read the Gallagher Girls series, but I'm guessing that they are similar. Also Known As is laugh-out-loud funny, the dialogue is fast and witty, the plot is really exciting (there is a chase scene which is heart-pounding), the supporting characters are awesome, it is set in Manhattan, and the romance is adorable. I loved that the main character had great parents who were very much a part of the story and who expected certain behavior out of their daughter. The main character is snarky and oh so funny, but she loves and respects her parents and tries very hard to live up to their expectations. The best friend has all the classic bad-girl habits, but she improves. I would whole-heartedly recommend this book is it wasn't for the concerns below.

Areas of concern: There is a lot of cussing with many uses of the *s* word and the *a*-*h* words. The *f* word is started but never finished. The best friend character has a "swear jar" deal with her doorman and has to pay 5 dollars for every swear word. He is making a killing off of her.
The best friend has totally absent parents and there is talk of her having slept with her old best friend's boyfriend. She takes her mom's prescription pills, she gets completely drunk at a party, and seems to have a history of pills and alcohol.
The teenagers skip school at the drop of a pin.
There is kissing, not anything too graphic.
This all sounds really bad, but I will say that the main character doesn't drink, refuses pills, and respects her parent's authority (while being snarky about it).   You are left with the feeling that the best friend's behavior will change drastically as she becomes more involved in Maggie's family.

Suggested Ages:
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 12+
School Library Journal - Grades 7+

No comments:

Post a Comment