I’m pleased to be on the blog tour for a fun spy chapter book called Double Vision: Code Name 711 by F. T. Bradley. She wrote it with reluctant boy readers in mind, but I had trouble putting it down! Her sense of pacing is perfect. It’s a real page turner with characters you can relate to (kind of like the Percy Jackson gang).
This is the second book of a trilogy. I’m giving the first two books away along with spy gadgets! Please enter below! What is your (or your child’s) favorite spy chapter book? Anyone’s kid into spy gadgets? Please share!
Double Vision: Code Name 711 by F. T. Bradley
I’ve been reading a small pile of spy chapter books geared for boys, I think, but this one nailed it for me. It’s fast paced, packed with U. S. history, and it’s funny too! F. T. Bradley says it’s a MG spy thriller for reluctant readers but I think it will draw in readers of all kinds, reluctant or otherwise. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
5 Quick Questions with Author F. T. Bradley
1) What spy skills do you possess?
I’d probably make a terrible spy–with my red hair (and I’m five-eleven tall…), it’s hard to be undercover… But I’d like to think I have good observation skills (I love people-watching at the mall :-).
Although I’m not brave like Linc, Ben, or any other spies–I prefer to get my spy excitement from books and movies.
2) I love the U.S. history tie in with George Washington. Were you trying to be a little sneaky slipping in something educational amid the cloak and daggar?
You know, I wasn’t too excited about George Washington at first… No disrespect to our first president. I decided to set Linc’s second adventure in Washington, D.C., so having him hunt for an artifact that belonged to Washington seemed like a natural choice. And since the Double Vision books are a fun, exciting adventure first and foremost, I wasn’t too worried about being educational.
But then I found out that George Washington was a spy during the Revolutionary War, and that changed my whole perspective. He even had a code name (711, as you might have guessed from the title)–how cool is that?
The truth is, I didn’t really have to be sneaky. I just did my research on the Culper Ring (America’s first spies), and the story practically wrote itself. All the educational elements are things that genuinely interest me. I hope kids will share my excitement over this bit of (spy) history surrounding George Washington. It’s so cool.
3) Your spy chapter book has impeccable pacing. Could you please share a writing or editing tip on how you achieve this?
I set out to write for reluctant readers, but the truth is that I’m one myself. So as I’m plotting, I make sure the story is always moving forward, and I edit with that in mind. If I get bored with the story or find myself glossing over bits of writing, I look for ways to pick up the pace, cut unneeded elements to get to the core of the story.
I’m not a very strong narrative writer. Most of the book is written in scenes: very action- and dialogue-driven. It also helps to have good editors–I’m lucky to be at Harper Children’s.
4) The U.S. president … is a woman?! Love it! When do you think this will happen in real life? Do you think planting that idea subversively in a children’s chapter book will help? I hope so!
The truth? When I first started plotting Double Vision: Code Name 711, I had a male president… I realized that was a stereotype I brought to the table from my generation, and I felt a little ashamed. Why did I think of a man when I imagined the president?
Something I find as I do school visits (and with my own tween kids) is that this new generation is incredibly open-minded, positive, and kind. The gender stereotypes I grew up with are eroding (thank goodness), so it’s up to me to live up to today’s kids outlook when I write the Double Vision books. And a female president would be something completely natural for kids now, so that’s how I wrote it.
Personally, I would love to see a female president in real life… Isn’t it about time?
5) How many books do you think you’ll write for your Double Vision series?
This series is written to end with book three–a trilogy. I’m wrapping up Linc’s adventures with the third book as this second book comes out…
It’s hard to let Linc go–he’s such a blast to write. I love hearing how kids connect with the story. I feel privileged to write middle-grade: it’s fun and keeps me on my toes.
Trailer Time! Double Vision: Code Name 711
Books for Boys 5th Grade: Spy Chapter Book GIVEAWAY!
I am giving away a kid spy package that contains the first two books in the series (hardcover) and several kid spy gadgets–a fun packet for MG kids that are into all things spy!
Double Vision: Code Name 711 Blog Tour
Oct. 7: Top-Secret Spy Kit giveaway at Criminal Element
Oct. 8: Double Vision is MG Ninja’s book of the week. There’s an interview and a review
Oct 15: Launch day! Look for an interview at Sleuths, Spies and Alibis plus another giveaway of books…
Oct. 16, 17: Buried in Books reviews Code Name 711, plus another giveaway:
Oct. 18: Unleashing Readers—a review of Code Name 711 and interview and giveaway
Oct. 21: This Kid Reviews Books—a review and another giveaway
Oct. 23: Word Spelunking—an interview and giveaway
Oct. 25: Pragmatic Mom reviews Code Name 711, plus another giveaway:
Oct. 28: An interview at Caroline Starr Rose’s blog feature,Curriculum Connections—find out how Code Name 711 can be used in the classroom! Plus, a giveaway
Oct 29: YA Booknerd, reviews Code Name 711:
Oct. 30: A review at Kids Mystery Book Reviews and an interview on Nov 4
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.