Lots of nannies are special; this one is a special agent.
When Jake and Alison’s mom returns to work as a lawyer, they, their toddler sister, Eliza, and their enthusiastic dog, Yeti, get a new nanny. Nanny X arrives clad in a motorcycle jacket and straw hat; fifth-grader Alison is not impressed, but Jake is intrigued. Both are a bit grossed out by what’s in their lunch sacks: peanut butter–and-anchovy sandwiches. When she takes the kids to attend a rally to save their neighborhood park from becoming a factory, the mayor is beaned by what appears to be a rock. One of Alison’s friends is accused, and Nanny X swings into action, revealing that she’s a member of the Nanny Action Patrol. Alison’s skepticism deepens, but as the gadgets come out of the diaper bag (baby-bib GPS tracker, sippy-cup listening device) and the investigation continues, she’s slowly won over. Can the kids and Yeti help Nanny X halt a major crime? Alison and Jake alternate narration duties in Rosenberg’s tale of neighborhood espionage in suburban Washington, D.C. Buffoonish bad guys with foolish plans for power nicely balance the hints of real danger in this light, fast read. Both narrative voices are distinct, and the action, while not exactly believable, is realistically presented.
A fun and funny blend of Spy Kids and Mary Poppins. (Fiction. 7-10)