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TOP-SECRET SMACKDOWN by Mac Barnett

TOP-SECRET SMACKDOWN

From the Mac B., Kid Spy series, volume 3

by Mac Barnett ; illustrated by Mike Lowery

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-338-14371-3
Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Barnett recalls another exploit from his childhood days as a secret agent for the queen of England.

Shortly after failing to convince the despicable Craig, his mom’s boyfriend, that the wrestling at WrestleFest Live is (spoiler alert) faked, young Mac receives a call from the worried monarch. It seems that the Tower of London’s ravens are being stolen, and as everyone has heard the old prophecy that if the ravens ever go so will the country, there will be general pandemonium when the news gets out. “Who cares whether the prophecy is real,” the psychologically astute royal cogently remarks. “The prophecy is true.” Following a trail of convenient clues—and learning along the way (this is likewise true) that the queen legally owns every British mute swan, sturgeon, dolphin, and porpoise—Mac travels to Iceland and then the North Pole, catches up with the “KGB Man” who did the dastardly deed, and scotches a scheme to kick-start the prophecy with a public TV announcement. He accomplishes this by ripping off his shirt and wrestling the thief on camera…thus indelibly remaking a real news story into the fake sort. Lowery shovels in further goofy notes with three-color cartoon drawings of various animals and the white-default human cast on nearly every page.

Exciting action sneakily infused with points about the relationship between reality and story, delivered by a narrator who can claim with literal truth that he saved the day “on porpoise.” (Spy thriller. 7-10)