The Secret Life of Kitty Granger
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When Kitty Granger follows a mysterious man off the bus, she has no idea that her curiosity will land her into the clutches of Russian agents. But she's no mere damsel. Kitty relies on keen observation and East End toughness to surprise her captors, catching the eye of Her Majesty's spy corps, which offers her a spot as an agent-in-training. Kitty must learn quickly, as a conspiracy rooted in the highest levels of British government will require Kitty's eye for detail to thwart it. Falksen sets Kitty's story in 1960s London, inviting comparisons to the larger-than-life exploits of James Bond. But Kitty is anything but smooth at the outset. Many of her behaviors, such as an obsession with patterns, are often exhibited by those diagnosed with autism, yet some of these traits lend themselves quite well to the spy business. Readers will follow Kitty through her initial struggles and celebrate her growth in both ability and self-confidence. All in all, this rip-roaring tale starring a compelling heroine will satisfy anyone looking for a fun, quirky adventure.--Booklist-- "Journal" (3/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)
Curiosity can kill a Kitty in this swinging '60s spy novel.
Intrigued by irregularities she observes, 16-year-old Kitty Granger stumbles onto a secret world of spycraft in 1960s London. After a brief and brutal encounter with some bad guys, she joins the Orchestra, an untraditional, ethnically diverse, and welcoming group of spies and scientists--or 'foreigners and socialists, ' according to their critics. White and working-class, a shopkeeper's daughter from the East End, Kitty is also autistic. Swiftly trained and sent into the field to investigate a fascist plot, Kitty capitalizes on her attention to patterns, ear for accents, and experience with hiding her real self as she is finally allowed to embrace her quirks as assets rather than deficits. But espionage is already dangerous, even without the risk of sensory overload, and Kitty struggles to stay calm and safe amid strange circumstances. With gadgets and gizmos aplenty, daring escapes, last-minute miracles, and cinematic and crisply described action sequences, Kitty's adventures read like a neurodivergent, female James Bond for the junior set. The secondary characters lack complex development but deliver timely observations such as, 'Pretending that prejudice doesn't exist isn't the same as not being prejudiced.' Falksen delivers a ripping read that is historically grounded, drawing a direct line from past events to current debates over diversity, immigration, and the eternal peril of fascism.
Nail-biting fascism-fighting featuring an atypical heroine.--Kirkus Reviews
Kitty Granger is not an ordinary 16-year-old--she can find a secret door in a heartbeat and can solve any puzzle in an instant. Despite this, she's managed to create a run-of-the-mill life for herself. When a spy waltzes into her father's store, job offer in hand, Kitty knows her life will never be ordinary again. As she sets off on a mission to save all of Britain from tyranny, she realizes there is much more to spying than sneaking around. Will Kitty be able to complete her mission, or will she let her mind--her greatest asset, as well as her greatest liability--take over? It is intriguing to follow Kitty, a teen on the autism spectrum, as she navigates post-war Britain. Her obliviousness and resentment of her disorder provide eye-opening insight into how a person on the autism spectrum may have viewed themselves before autism became a more understood disability. Kitty is a nuanced character--she is brash and headstrong, but brave and genuine. Other characters are also incredibly charming, and the dynamic between the heterogeneous set of characters is light and comedic. Kitty is cued as white. VERDICT A fun thriller spotlighting a neurodivergent protagonist, appropriate for middle school readers.--School Library Journal-- "Journal" (1/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)