Title: Bridget Wilder: Spy-in-Training
Author: Jonathan Bernstein
Synopsis: Middle school meets Mission Impossible in this hilarious tween series about a girl whose life is turned upside down when she discovers her father is a superspy.
Up until Bridget’s birthday, the most exciting moment in her life was when Dale Tookey maybe, sort of smiled at her one time. But that was before—before she found a mysterious gift bag at her doorstep, before she was transported to a covert CIA agency called Section 23, and before she became Bridget Wilder: Spy-in-Training. Now Bridget’s busting boys out of detention, being chauffeured by a talking car, and infiltrating the popular girls’ clique to steal secret codes, all while under cover as a semi-awkward middle school girl. But will she be able to keep up with her new action-packed life while hiding it from her family and friends? And what if Section 23 is keeping secrets of its own?
It is no secret—Bridget Wilder: Spy-in-Training is the start of an explosive new series packed with gadgets, humor, and, best of all: girl power.
Huge thank you to Harper Collins Canada for this ARC!
I must admit, I had never even heard of Bridget Wilder: Spy-in-Training until it appeared on my doorstep. I’m glad I gave this book a chance, because it is such a fun middle grade read filled with tons of action, great use of spy tropes, and has a delightful heroine who is easy to relate to.
Bridget is a Plain Jane with nothing remarkable about her… until she learns that she is the daughter of a famous spy. Going from unremarkable to spy-in-training, seems like a lot, but Bridget is determined to make it work somehow. I really loved Bridget as a character, and I thought the way the author showed how she goes through the ups and downs quite realistically. She wants to make friends, be noticed, and now that she’s a spy, she seems a lot more noticeable than she’d like.
What I liked about this novel is that there’s a lot of humour in it. Bridget has very over-reactive responses about her newfound training, and it’s written with a lot of charm. I also loved how dramatic a lot of the characters were in this book because it actually fit the overall tone of the story — it felt almost like reading a Saturday Morning Cartoon. Yet, at the same time, you can tell the author is a huge fan of spy movies because a lot of the tropes exist within the novel, but are presented in a way that the audience would understand. There’s definitely lots of name dropping and pop culture references, but the author was smart in that a lot of the them are geared towards the age group in question.
I feel like middle graders will gravitate towards this book because it’s a great adventure story with a delightful heroine. The characters in this book are funny, but easy to relate to. Bridget’s narrative is both fun and quirky, and she’s just so easy to root for. You want to watch her grow and succeed, and ultimately the novel does a great job of that. Definitely excited to see what adventures and hot messes Bridget will get into next! (Providing there is a sequel of course!)