Below-average middle schoolers Jonathan and Shelley have one ability that makes them, well, not stand out but rather blend in: they are utterly unremarkable.
It is this quality that makes them ideal recruits for the top-secret League of Unexceptional Children, an organization of kid and teen spies dedicated to protecting national security. As recruiter Hammett explains, “You are right there in the world's blind spot.” So it is that these preteens bravely answer the call of duty to find the culprit who has kidnapped the vice president of the United States and, with him, the code that could bring destruction to all, no matter how dull or exceptional. With this promising premise, Daneshvari delivers hilarious shenanigans and moments of verbal delight, as when giving a very specific order to a fast-food cashier (“a double dog with a side of mustard, two sides of relish, a can of diet Fanta, fourteen packets of ketchup, two straws, and seven napkins”) yields the protagonists entry to an oversized fridge, pushing on the back of which allows them into the league’s HQ; as Shelley puts it, “It’s kind of like Narnia, only with a lot of pork products.” These moments will help readers past the occasional odd jerks of the plot that make the story at times difficult to follow.
This humorous new series is sure to appeal to fans of Daneshvari and other lovers of the ludicrous. (Adventure. 8-12)