How I Became a Spy
A Mystery of WWII London
What is this book about?
Bertie Bradshaw never set out to become a spy. He never imagined traipsing around war-torn London, solving ciphers, practicing surveillance, and searching for a traitor to the Allied forces. He certainly never expected that a strong-willed American girl named Eleanor would play Watson to his Holmes (or Holmes to his Watson, depending on who you ask).
But when a young woman goes missing, leaving behind a coded notebook, Bertie is determined to solve the mystery. With the help of Eleanor and his friend David, a Jewish refugee—and, of course, his trusty pup, Little Roo—Bertie must decipher the notebook in time to stop a double agent from spilling the biggest secret of all to the Nazis.
This suspenseful WWII adventure reminds us that times of war call for bravery, brains and teamwork from even the most unlikely heroes.
“Ms. Hopkinson slips lots of age-appropriate wartime history and a number of real individuals (including Eisenhower)—as well as practical details about codes and ciphers and how to break them—into this info-packed adventure for sleuth-loving readers.” (The Wall Street Journal)
“This middle grade mystery novel starts with a bang and sends readers on a breakneck journey through World War II London.” (School Library Journal)
“Hopkinson has written a cleverly plotted, page-turning mystery that vividly evokes wartime Britain … Fans of puzzles, mysteries, and historical fiction will be delighted by Hopkinson’s latest.” (Booklist)
“Red herrings, a poignant Bradshaw family backstory, ciphers to decode, a subplot regarding a young Jewish refugee friend of Bertie’s, cameos by real-life historical figures (General Eisenhower and his dog; cipher expert Leo Marks)—there’s certainly no shortage of entry points for young readers, and never a dull moment.” (The Horn Book)
author, Deborah Hopkinson
Knopf Books for Young Reader
ages 8 and up, 2019