The Recruit: CHERUB, Book 1

Book review by Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Recruit: CHERUB, Book 1 Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 12+

Teen spy series gets off to rousing start.

Parents say

age 11+

Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 36 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 9+

Amazingly addicting

I'd always been into reading as a child, but I was never addicted to a series of books like these, nor have I since been. I'm not exaggerating- I often finished each book in about a week at the age of 11 or 12. I can still remember what happens in each one because they were so packed with excitement. Now I want to say something to parents: There are swear words, there is violence, and there is talk about sex. But you're being extremely naive if you think that your child doesn't already talk about these topics when they aren't around you. Not to mention that they probably have watched porn by the time they reach 12. In these books there is always an authority figure punishing them when they go wrong and teaching them lessons. Parents need to understand that simply reading a series of books isn't going to make a child violent, a sex addict or craving heroine. That is entirely down to who they choose to be around as well as their parents being good role models. It would be such a shame to disregard these books because of helicopter parenting. I know friends who started to read these books aged 9/10. Did they grow up to be psychotic maniacs? NO. They are all well rounded human beings studying at university. Some adult reviewers of this are incredibly pathetic. In response to the review claiming that the main character is not a suitable "hero", maybe that's because these books try to be somewhat realistic? Not every kid wants to read about some goody goody who gets everything right all of the time. The main character makes a LOT of poor choices, and this adds a sense of realism as well as the reassurance that even "heroes" make mistakes. I think the thing I like most about these books in fact, is that as opposed to other kids books, the main character is from an extremely disadvantaged background. He comes from having a dead (or arrested?) family, going into the foster care system, and then making something of himself. Truly inspirational, and a source of hope to me at the time due to going through some troubling experiences of my own. The reason these books are so good is because they are relatable to the target audience. I got recommended these books in year 7 ( age 11 or 12), and they are incredibly detailed with realistic mission briefs and fast paced action. Also, if you don't let your kid read it, they will probably sneak it into their backpack or something. DON'T BE THAT PARENT, DON'T BE NAIVE, THESE BOOKS WILL GET THEM READING EVEN IF THEY HAVE NEVER READ A WORD IN THEIR LIFE.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 13+

Utter garbage

I found this book on a site recommending books for 7th graders. My 13 y.o. son read it and enjoyed it. I, on the other hand, had to force myself to finish it. From the get-go, our hero, age 11 or 12, gets into a couple of fights at school. He's picked on because of his overweight mother. Said mother, a stolen goods dealer, dies from drinking when she is on prescription meds - perhaps caused by the hero's stepfather. The hero and other kids are repeatedly bullied throughout the book, by both older kids and adults. The hero gets drunk, smokes, deliberately injures a friend out of jealously, steals beer from a store, and vandalizes property. There are a couple of scenes that include animal cruelty – the hero kills a living chicken as test, which is described as if the author meant it to be funny, and later befriends kids who enjoy maiming and torturing birds. And, the dialog is often crass. I was totally disheartened that this would be recommended for 7th graders. There wasn’t one positive character. I thought it was utter garbage.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Book Details

  • Author: Robert Muchamore
  • Genre: Mystery
  • Topics: Adventures
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: August 30, 2005
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 18
  • Number of pages: 342
  • Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
  • Last updated: September 27, 2021

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