Tween Tuesdays (4)

Tuesday November 24, 2009

Tween Tuesday is a meme I first saw at Green Bean Teen Queen and really liked because she is also a librarian who deals with teens and tweens. So, since most of my blog is devoted to YA and teen books I figured that on Tuesdays I can do posts for all the tweeners out there!

The Real Spy's Guide to Becoming a Spy
by Peter Earnest with Suzanne Harper
In association with the International Spy Museum

Created by the founding executive director of the International Spy Museum, who is also a former operative in the CIA’s Clandestine Service, this is the official handbook for kids who dream of one day becoming a spy or working in the intelligence field. Have you ever wondered what spies really do. What kind of training is involved? Do you have to go to a special school or take a polygraph test? How do you live your “cover”? How does your work life affect your relationships with your friends and family? Is there danger involved? This fascinating, fact-filled book answers these questions and more while providing a historical timeline, definitions of key terms, suggestions for further reading, an index, quizzes, and exercises to see if you have the right spy stuff.

This is one of those very colorful glossy books that kids will definitely be drawn too. Not to mention the topic itself! Various book series and of course movies make the spy business look glamorous and exciting.

I like the fact that the book starts out by eliminating the preconcieved notions that being a spy is all James Bond and cute girls. The first chapter talks about this and also gives an extensive yet concise history of spies going back to 1800 BC.

Various chapters describe why countries have spies, what exactly a spy is and what they do. I also like the fact that the book gives a fairly realistic (considering the audience here) of what it takes to be a spy including grades, topics of study and education levels. Sometimes kids have misconceptions about jobs and I can see them thinking that if they just join the military and sign up to be a spy they are good to go! Not true!

The book goes on to describe a spies training , practicing your spying skills (games for building memory skills and also practicing interview techniques) and the future of spying.

There is also a great appendix with links to various other sources of information as well as an extensive list of agencies that have "spy-like" jobs.

I think this a great book for libraries and kids who want to learn more about spies. It could use a few more color pictures and/or illustrations but overall it is a really great book!