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Dawn Undercover
ISBN: 9781582346571
Author: Dale, Anna
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Published: November 2005
Retail: $16.95    OUR PRICE: $2.99
     You Save 83%
Binding Type: Hardcover
Annotation: Dawn Buckle spends most of her days trying to get people to notice her, but whether at home or at school, it's as if she's invisible. And that's exactly what makes her the ideal recruit for S.H.H. (Strictly Hush Hush)--a secret intelligence agency. How the world's most forgettable girl transform herself into a world-class spy (and brings in a surprising double agent) makes for a rollicking read.
Additional Information
Physical Information: 1.25" H x 7.90" L x 5.90" W (1.07 lbs) 359 pages
Bargain Category: Upper Elementary, Middle School, Chapter Books, Action & Adventure
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.
Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring)
A spy agency chooses quiet Dawn to be an undercover agent, after all, who would suspect an eleven-year-old? The agency, its members, the case, Dawn, and other characters are poor caricatures of cheesy spy stories (think "Inspector Gadget"). Though the premise might initially grab readers' attention, the dry writing does nothing to hold it. Reading list. Glos. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2005 November #2)

After her whimsical debut fantasy novel, Dale (Whispering to Witches ) turns out an uneven mystery starring a lonely yet optimistic 11-year-old. Dawn "drifted through life with no one giving her a second glance," yet "clung to the hope that something exciting was going to happen to her." When Dawn spots the driver of a car "goggling at her" as she crosses a street on the way to school, she is "astounded" that someone has actually noticed her and is convinced that "something... with a capital 'S' " is about to happen. Something does (the driver, a recruiter for a secret intelligence organization, taps Dawn to join the force as a spy), but the tale's intrigue takes too long to kick in. After Dawn and readers endure her laborious spy training, the young sleuth is finally launched on her mission: to discover the whereabouts of Angela, a spy who had suddenly vanished just after phoning headquarters to report that she had spotted a villainous fellow thought to have died a decade earlier. Dawn takes up residence in the town from which Angela disappeared and begins collecting clues that eventually let her uncover the identify of the rogue. Sprinkled with charming Briticisms and ample humor, Dale's complex whodunit entails false leads and tangles that will keep kids guessing, even if the novel's initial lumbering pace may stall them. Ages 8-12. (Nov.)

[Page 69]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2005 December)

Gr 4-6 -Dawn Buckle, 11, is so ordinary that even her parents frequently fail to notice her. This invisibility pays off when a top-secret spy organization called P.S.S.T. recruits her for an important rescue mission. She must learn the tools of the spy trade and then go undercover in a small English village to track down criminal mastermind Murdo Meek. Bumbling spies, numerous mishaps, and a jumble of acronyms-spy agencies called S.H.H., A.H.E.M., and C.O.O.E.E.-contribute to the story's light, humorous tone. The bad guys don't kill people; they just kidnap them, lock them up, exploit their phobias, or knock them off ladders. There is a large cast of colorful characters but, except for the protagonist, few are particularly well developed. The story also gets off to a slow start; the mission doesn't actually begin until almost halfway into the novel. Still, mystery lovers should enjoy following the clues and observing Dawn's development as she becomes more confident and self-assured. Plenty of challenging vocabulary will also make this a good choice for precocious readers who want a book without mature themes.-Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library

[Page 144]. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.