Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kid Konnection: Secret Agent Y.O.U: The Official Guide to Secret Codes, Disguises, Surveillance, and MORE! by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Dave Whamond

Secret Agent Y.O.U: The Official Guide to Secret Codes, Disguises, Surveillance, and MORE! by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Dave Whamond
(Rated: C)
Maple Tree Press
ISBN: 978-1897066690
Published June 21, 2006
Paperback, 64 pages, Ages 8-12

Did I tell you we love Helaine Becker's books? Most probably. But let me tell you again: My kids and I LOVE Helaine Becker's books! Why? Simply because they are so much fun and provide my kids with loads of things to do by engaging them and empowering them with activities that stimulate and entertain.

Secret Agent Y.O.U. is a cool book on how to become a spy or a Young Operative Undercover, a.k.a Secret Agent Y.O.U.! Within its colourful pages, spymaster Helaine Becker has provided the perfect kids' guidebook on the world of espionage. She divides her book into 6 chapters with such topics as training missions, surveillance, cryptology 101 (codes and cyphers), spy-style communication, the art of disguise, as well as quizzes, recipes for making disguise make-up, and experiments.

Chapter One starts with activities to see if you have what it takes to be a spy. You can take the Spy School Entrance Exam to see what kind of a spy you would be. It was fun taking the test! I loved the fact that any kid with their unique talents (or lack of) could qualify and find out what kind of spy they could be. My favorite parts (and this was difficult to choose because every page offers something unique to learn and do) were trying to accomplish the missions and learning how to encrypt messages. This prompted me to leave my kids little notes in code in their rooms and they had to figure out what I had written. I can't begin to tell you how much fun we had doing this!

At the end of each chapter is the Fact File—two pages with actual info about real spies and the things that have occurred in the history of the world of espionage. These always caught my attention as I read about some famous spies and their techniques. I could go on and on about all the fun stuff in this book, but instead I'll highly recommend you pick up a copy for your kids and watch as they spent hours using their imagination and building skills that they can use not only in the spy world but beyond into everyday life.

Check out my reviews of other fun Helaine Becker books:

I will count this book toward the following challenges: Middle Grade Book Challenge, Dewey Decimal Challenge

Disclosure: Thanks to Kendal Gerard from Owlkids Books for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

Every Saturday, Booking Mama hosts a feature called Kid Konnection—a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, visit Booking Mama.

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  1. This sounds absolutely wonderful. I love how you brought the book to life even more with your notes!

  2. Oh my gosh, I would have loved this as a kid! I had big dreams of being a spy and sending secret messages.

  3. @Julie and Bermudaonion: I loved playing detective as a child. Spy games were a blast. I guess some things don't change much from one generation to the next!


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