Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Cherub: The Recruit

Cherub: The Recruit

Robert Muchamore
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2010   ISBN: 978-1442413603

James Choke is a very bright boy who is bored with school. Indeed, he finds his entire life rather a bore. He lives with his enormously overweight mother – who runs “a shoplifting empire from her armchair” – his half sister Lauren, and occasionally Lauren’s father. Though he does not really mean for it to happen, James frequently gets into trouble. One day, after he is badly beaten up by some boys from his school, James comes home to fine out that his mother has died. Lauren’s father comes to claim his daughter, and James is sent to a children’s home.

At the home, James’ life continues on a downward spiral, and then something extraordinary happens, James is ‘kidnapped’ by some people who belong to a secret organization. The organization is called CHERUB, and its purpose is to train children to be secret agents. The feeling is that children make excellent agents because no one suspects that a child could be a spy. Children are overlooked, and are therefore very well suited for covert activities.

After looking around the CHERUB campus and meeting people there, James decides that he wants to join. Being in CHERUB has to be better than being at the children’s home, and maybe if he goes there, he won’t end up as a juvenile criminal.

At first life at CHERUB is very easy and enjoyable. Then James begins basic training and he discovers what real pain, suffering, humiliation, and misery is like. He isn’t in the program long before he begins to wonder if he is going to live long enough to go on a real mission.

Readers who enjoy books about spies and covert missions will greatly enjoy this title. It is the first book in what promises to be a very exciting series. Readers will be eager to find out what James will do next.