Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Also Known As

Also Known As

Robin Benway
Fiction
For ages 12 and up
Walker , 2013   ISBN: 978-0802733900

Sixteen year old Maggie Silver has had a very usual life. Her parents are spies working for the Collective, an international spy agency that sends it agents out to “right wrongs.” If you are a drug lord, human trafficker, assassin, art thief, polluter, dirty CEO or other do-badder, then the Collective will send someone to bring you down. Maggie’s father is a super linguist and her mother can hack into any computer system. What Maggie specializes in is safecracking and lock picking. She cracked her first lock when she was only three and now there are very few safes and locks that defeat her.

This summer Maggie was is Reykyavik so that she and her parents could put an end to a human trafficker’s activities and they were able to complete their case without any hitches. Now she is New York City and this time, and for the first time, she is the major player in the case. Maggie is going solo and she is thrilled to finally get the opportunity to be in charge (sort of). At long last no more sitting on the sidelines. A well-known media mogul is planning on releasing a story that will expose what the Collective does. Worse still, Maggie, her parents, and other Collective agents could be compromised and therefore be put in grave danger if the article is released. All Maggie has to do is to befriend the mogul’s son, Jesse Oliver, and use him to get access to Mr. Oliver’s papers.

Maggie has to do something she has never done before: go to school. Wearing a school uniform that makes her feel decidedly uncomfortable, Maggie goes to a private high school so that she can get to know Jesse. She begins by making friends with Roux, a poor little rich girl who is friendless and lonely, and who is, incidentally, very strange. Roux takes Maggie to a Halloween party at Jesse’s house. While Roux is busy getting well and truly drunk, Maggie goes into Mr. Oliver’s library and she manages to get some documents out of his safe. Then she comes face to face with Jesse, who in addition to being very good looking, turns out to be really really nice. So nice in fact that he and Maggie end up getting very close indeed. As in kissingly close.

Now Maggie has a big problem. She has fallen for her mark, the documents she got are the wrong ones, and she feels terrible about lying to both Roux and Jesse. Who knew that being a spy would be so lonely and so confusing. Maybe Maggie doesn’t really want to follow in her parent’s footsteps at all. Maybe she would prefer being a normal teenager. Or maybe not.

Readers who like books featuring spies and undercover ops are going to thoroughly enjoy this book. Maggie’s voice is wonderfully genuine and honest, and readers will be able to laugh at the things she thinks and says. They will also be able to appreciate how hard it is for her both a teenager and the daughter of spies.  

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