Double Vision by F.T. Bradley is a middle grade spy thriller (available October 16, 2012).
One’s a Secret Agent, One’s Not.
Twelve-year-old Linc is a troublemaker with a dilemma. His antics on a recent school field trip went way overboard, landing his already poor family with a serious lawsuit. So when two secret agents show up at his house, Linc is eager to take them up on their offer to make the lawsuit disappear. They just need one tiny favor.
Turns out Linc looks exactly like one of their top kid agents—an agent who vanished during a vitally important mission. But no debriefing can prepare Linc for how dangerous the mission really is. It’s too bad he isn’t a black belt, a math genius, or a distance runner like his agent double. He’ll need all those skills and more if he hopes to make it out of this mission alive. . . .
Lincoln Baker is a typical twelve-year-old boy. He likes to skateboard. He has good friends. He is an okay student. Well, until his lack of impulse control kicks in, usually during field trips.
“Can I count on you to behave?” She gave me one of those death-ray looks. Mrs. Valdez had reason to be worried. On the last field trip when a kid from another school called Daryl a name I won’t repeat, I started a tomato food fight. It was loads of fun, but my parents had to pay for the lost fruit (apparently tomatoes are a fruit, not a veggie) and cleanup. At the grocery store field trip, I set off the Code Adam alert when we couldn’t find my other friend Sam, so customers were trapped for an hour (the Code Adam alert thing works great, in case you’re wondering). As it turned out, Sam was just taking a bathroom break, so he wasn’t actually kidnapped. But he could’ve been! So anyway, I’m Mrs. Valdez’s field trip nightmare.
“I’ll be good,” I said, and I really wanted to be.
After another field trip fiasco—setting free a barn full of chickens—Linc is in deep trouble. He is facing suspension, or even expulsion, from school. And his parents are caught in the fallout. The farmer is suing the Bakers for the damage Linc did, and then some.
Two agents show up on Lincoln’s doorstep. And they offer him a way out. All he has to do is pretend to be Benjamin Green, a top kid agent who has gone missing. A kid agent who looks just like Linc.
Agent Fullerton looked at his partner, then stepped closer. “You do this, we’ll take care of your chicken farm business. Our intel is that this Farmer Johnson has hired Zachary Quinn.”
“What?” I felt sick. So that was the lawyer Mom was meeting tonight. Zachary Quinn is one of those slick guys you always see on TV, ready to sue the pants off anyone he thinks he can get money from. I thought about how we Bakers wouldn’t survive a lawsuit, since we could barely afford the groceries, let alone a lawyer. How we might even lose the house because that’s all we owned.
With a clever ruse on the part of the agents, Mr. and Mrs. Baker agree to let Linc go with them. He is plunged into an immersion course on all things Benjamin Green so he can pass for the super kid agent on one quick mission.
At this point, Agent Fullerton started telling me all about this fantastic Benjamin Green. How he had a black belt in karate and could run five miles at Olympic record speed. How he knew Mandarin (apparently, that’s Chinese), aced every test at school, and could lift a hundred pounds with his pinkie.
All right, so I made that last part up, but you get the idea. The guy was a superhero, and I was Linc the Chicken Boy. By the time we exited the freeway just north of LA, I hated Benjamin Green.
Of course, nothing goes as planned, and Linc embarks on a race through Paris, deciphering codes and trying to stay ahead of the bad guys. He may not have the skills Benjamin Green has, but he brings his own special abilities—and some cool gadgets made just for him—to the party.
F.T. Bradley captures the voice of this twelve-year-old perfectly. He’s a funny, smart, and caring kid who may not always do the right thing, but whose heart is always in the right place.
The book’s target audience of middle grade reluctant boy readers should devour this thrill ride while solving the puzzles along with Linc. Avid middle grade readers will also like it, even plenty of girls. And I think more than a few parents will have fun reading the book, too. I’m certainly looking forward to Linc’s next adventure.
Attention true spy fans! Here’s a prize pack put together by author F.T. Bradley especially for you! Just leave a comment below and enter for a chance to win.
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To enter for a chance to win a Double Vision prize pack including a hardcover copy of F.T. Bradley’s Double Vision, a poster of the book, and a DVD of Spy Kids: All the Time in the World make sure you’re a registered member of the site, then simply leave a comment below. TIP: Since only comments from registered users will be tabulated, if your user name appears in red above your comment—STOP—go log in, then try commenting again. If your user name appears in black above your comment, You’re In! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, fill out entry at http://www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2012/10/fresh-meat-double-vision-by-f-t-bradley-debbie-meldrum-thriller-espionage-international-crime-kid-friendly beginning at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) October 11, 2012. Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 a.m. ET on October 16, 2012 (the “Promotion Period”). Void outside of the 50 US and DC and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules at http://www.criminalelement.com/page/official-rules-double-vision-prize-pack-comment-sweepstakes. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010
Debbie Meldrum reads just about everything she can get her hands on. She was the short fiction editor for Apollo’s Lyre and the Editor in Chief of the Pikes Peak Writers NewsMag. She’s currently putting the finishing touches on her first novel. You can follow her progress on Twitter at @debmeldrum.