With his double life in danger of exposure, Darren Dirkowitz, aka Dirk Daring, Secret Agent, must complicate his personal life in order to keep his secrets.
Darren has always taken great care to keep his identity as a secret agent under wraps. Unfortunately, his one loose end has been discovered: a top-secret journal with all his adventures recorded for posterity. Before he knows it, Darren is at the mercy of his stepbrother (the nefarious and elusive “Waldo”), spying on his best friend and lying to the girl of his dreams. Friendships are strongly tested throughout the novel, which is peppered with imaginative turns of phrase and bursts of energy. The book is an enjoyable and quirky read. The author doesn’t go overboard and turn her characters into swirling cartoons: These are real kids behaving with all the creativity and energy one would expect of them. But beneath all the play and humor is a genuine emotional core, exploring the trials and tribulations all friendships endure when moving from elementary school on to junior high. A stunning last-minute twist pushes the book above and beyond.
A clever romp that’s enhanced, not lessened, by its message. (Fiction. 8-12)