22929538The Doublecross: And Other Skills I Learned as a Superspy by Jackson Pearce
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: ARC provided by Publisher
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star (3.5)
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Part Spy Kids and all fun, The Doublecross is the first in a fresh middle grade action-adventure series with a healthy dose of humor.

Everyone in twelve-year-old Hale’s family is a spy, going way back. They’ve all worked for the Sub Rosa Society, a top secret organization where new agents aren’t recruited; they’re born. His parents may be the ultimate spy team at SRS, but Hale isn’t a typical stealthy spy—he is, as his mother puts it “big-boned,” and as some classmates put it, “fat.” Still, he’s convinced he will someday be a great field agent. After all, it’s his legacy. But when both his mother and father go missing on a secret mission—likely captured by the SRS’s number one enemy—it’s Hale’s time to step up and (with a little help from his acrobat-cheerleader little sister) save the day.

With a hilarious and charismatic cast of characters, popular teen author Jackson Pearce makes a fantastic debut in the middle-grade arena. – Goodreads


Cute. Cute. Cute. Cute. That is the easiest way to sum up this novel, it is so cute. Everyone in Hale’s family is a spy. It’s the family job and all that he knows. What his family doesn’t expect is him to be fat and made fun of on a daily basis. Part of me wishes that the big boned/fat part would have not been included, but that is in part because I’m personally sick of it being used as a plot device. But, I regress, because this was still an enjoyable novel.

Doublecross is the story of Hale who wants to be a field agent even though everyone tells him he is not meant for the field, as a big boned person. Although Hale isn’t the fastest, he is often the smartest. He uses his wits and smarts to often outthink his classmates which helps him come in first, but not gain many friends in the meantime. Then the worst happens: his parents, who are world famous super spies, disappear. This is understandably, a huge sadness to Hale and his nine-year-old sister who both adore their parents.

What made this story for me was not the plot (although that was helpful) but was the cast of characters. From Hale, to his sister, Kennedy, to Agent Otter, Hale’s personal nemesis, the characters are what made this story work for me. I was constantly flipping the pages because I wanted to know that the characters were going to be okay.  Jackson made a fun middle grade novel about a spy school that is extremely relatable for a reader of any age.