Top positive review
Stand by for adventure, action, and sly humor
Reviewed in the United States on October 3, 2018
This book will keep you riveted. Ben, a 13-year-old junior agent at the Academy of Espionage (think CIA) is a good kid who always tries to do the right thing. He’s probably not the perfect spy student; he’s not great at physically protecting himself, or shooting guns, or computer hacking… but he’s kind of brainy. He can put pieces of information together and make the connections. And he’s got guts when it counts. Ben has already helped his spy school solve problems in previous books (5), but I haven’t read them and did just fine with this book. Here, Ben is asked to help locate their enemies of the covert organization, SPYDER. Of course he says yes, but it’s not that simple. He’s plunged into all kinds of scary situations in a Mexican jungle, and things just keep getting worse.
Think of your plane being targeted by a missile, or having hungry crocodiles surround you, or discovering a nefarious plan to accelerate rising oceans and sink cities around the globe. Ben has some solid friends, though, and each has their own special spy skills which come in handy. Still, the author is sly; you might wonder, does ‘goes south’ in the title refer to a country south of the U.S., or does it refer to the expression that means things get very bad, or even that the school is no longer providing a safe haven for spies in training? Hmm. If you’re in grades 3-7 and you like adventure with amusing situations, this is for you. Also, read the author’s suggestions at the end. We can take care of our planet; each person can make a difference.