Young Adult – Alibi Junior High

After spending his entire life bopping around the globe with his secret agent father, Cody has been sent to Connecticut to live with an aunt he hardly knows. Adjusting to life as a “normal” eighth grader is difficult for Cody. He’s never watched television or gone to school or even spent much time around other kids his age. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does not help him fit in, although he finds a kindred soul in a one-armed Iraqui vet who lives next door. But Cody’s life of suspense and danger may have followed him back to the States. Who is the masked man sneaking around in the woods, and why has the house been bugged? If Cody doesn’t find out fast, all of their lives may be in danger.

This was another book that was a lot of fun to read, and quite enjoyable, as long as you don’t think about it too hard. I could pick apart the plot flaws – no one trying to blend in would dress his teen son exclusively in suits, the CIA would not allow a child on dangerous missions, the “hunting accident” in the last few chapters is introduced and then almost immediately resolved, etc. But to do so would take away from the fun of the story.

Although books where previously homeschooled students flounder in their first social interactions usually annoy me a great deal, it made sense in the context of this story, as Cody has lived a very strange life, has to keep a lot of secrets, and spent almost all of his time with a driven, complex father. His awkwardness with kids his own age rings true, since middle school is an awkward time for almost everyone. His reactions to his teaches did not seem as in line with his always-blend-in character, but the hostility certainly makes for a more entertaining read.

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