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The Recruit: CHERUB, Book 1
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know The Recruit: CHERUB, Book 1 is the first volume in a series of thrillers about children trained to be international spies. Swearing and crude language are part of the story. Bullies call James a "retard" and a "faggot." Other potentially objectionable words, such as "s--t" and "arsehole," are employed a few times each. There are violent scenes, but most involve martial-arts training. James gets drunk and experiences a hangover. Some bullies force him into stealing alcohol from a liquor store. Teens smoke cigarettes.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In THE RECRUIT, James Choke's mother runs a crime ring out of their flat. When she dies suddenly, Jack and his sister Lauren are separated by the authorities. She goes to live with her good-for-nothing father, while James is sent off to a boarding school that's actually a training facility for CHERUB, a secret organization that employs teens for spy work. James undergoes a grueling regimen, but the real challenge comes when he's sent undercover on his first mission.
Is it any good?
Author Richard Muchamore keeps the pace brisk, the dialogue punchy, and the action heightened in this thrilling tale of teen spies in training. This volume is an origin story, so it takes a while to prepare James for his first mission, but the payoff is worth the long setup. Lots of kids daydream about what it might be like to be an international super spy, and this novel provides plenty of exciting answers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether children could actually be employed to complete spy missions. What sorts of laws might prevent such a setup?
Why are spy stories so popular? What others have you read?
What might it feel like to be an orphan? How does society treat teens without parents?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.