Playing with Fire by Bruce Hale
(School for Spies Novel, A)

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This lightweight kid-spy romp should find some eager readers.


Juvenile delinquent and budding pyromaniac Max Segredo belongs in juvie hall. At least, that's what his most recent foster family would tell you. Instead, Max ends up on the doorstep of Merry Sunshine Orphanage—their very heavily guarded doorstep. As he begins to acclimate to his new home, Max learns a few things straightaway: first, cracking a Caesar Cipher isn't as hard as it seems; second, never sass your instructor if she's also holding throwing knives; and third, he may not be an orphan after all. Soon, Max and the rest of the students are sent on a mission to keep a dangerous weapon out of the hands of LOTUS, an international group bent on world domination. Of course, all Max cares about is finding out more about his father, the man he's now sure is still alive. As the stakes get higher, Max must make some difficult choices, including who to trust, and finally learns the true meaning of family.

About Bruce Hale

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Author Bio: Edgar-nominated author Bruce Hale ( is passionate about inspiring reluctant readers to read. He has written or illustrated more than 25 seriously funny books for children, including the popular Chet Gecko Mysteries series and the comics-novel hybrid, Underwhere, as well as picture books such as Snoring Beauty and Moki and the Magic Surfboard. An actor and a Fulbright Scholar in Storytelling, Bruce is in demand as a speaker, having presented at conferences, universities, and schools across North America. His acting resume includes regional commercials, theater, and an independent film, “The Ride”. Bruce's book The Malted Falcon was an Edgar Award Finalist. Murder, My Tweet won the Little D Award for Humor Writing. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.Illustrator Bio: Brandon Dorman ( received a BFA from Brigham Young University-Idaho and since then has created hundreds of illustrations for books and magazines. Some of his best-known works include the #1 New York Times best-selling picture book The Wizard; cover art for the Newbery Honor Book Savvy; the best-selling Fablehaven series; and the popular Goosebumps series. He is married and the father of three boys, including one named—appropriately enough--Max.
Published June 25, 2013 by Disney Hyperion. 320 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Action & Adventure, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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on Mar 06 2013

This lightweight kid-spy romp should find some eager readers.

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