By: Adam Sutherland
Publisher: Lerner Publications
Publication Date: March 2012
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2012
Undercover agents and agencies have always fascinated people and many wonder just how they really function. The ever-popular James Bond, the "ultimate spy," is one character who was created in 1952 and remains popular to this day. But what about the "real" spies and undercover operatives around the world? Here in the United States we have the U.S. Service whose main purpose is to "protect the country against financial and computer fraud" and protect the president "both at home and on foreign visits." We also have the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Both of these agencies also collect information critical to the safety of our country and its people.
The United States isn't the only country with undercover operation agencies. For example the British have the British Security Service, the Germans have the Bundesnchrichtendienst, the Russians have the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), and Israel has the Mossad. In this book you'll be able to learn a bit of spy speak and will learn the definition of words and terms such as code name, sabotage, undercover, and electronic surveillance. You'll be able to swing through time and around the world and learn about the history of espionage (spying), the structure of the CIA, you'll get a look at several global intelligence agencies, you can hear the story of a real MI6 agent, you'll learn what spies do when they have someone under surveillance, how organizations "track their targets," you'll learn about some famous spies, and you'll learn many other exiting facts about undercover operations.
Undoubtedly, this is one of those high interest books that will captivate the imaginations of many young readers, including the reluctant ones. The text is not always in straightforward, structured style but often varies in an exciting manner, drawing the eyes to different spots on the page. The layout is colorful with an assortment of photographs and numerous informative captions. For example, when we see a photograph of an agent peering around a corner as he points his weapon, we find out that "Undercover agents maintain national security by protecting key government officials." There is a fun step-by-step instructional section on how to make a "Cipher Wheel." In the back of the book is an index, some "Spy Stats," and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: This is a fast-paced, exciting look at the world of undercover operations around the world.