'If you wished James Bond was funnier, you'll love this': the class book review

The adventures of Kevin Twigg, accidental secret agent, are so compelling that one of our reviewers ended up in a bedtime stand-off with his mum

Jo Clarke

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Title: The Accidental Secret Agent
Author and illustrator: Tom McLaughlin
Publisher: OUP Children's

Teacher Review

I was ridiculously excited to get my hands on a copy of this top-secret and highly confidential document, The Accidental Secret Agent by Tom McLaughlin, because the The Accidental Prime Minister was one of my favourite books of 2015.

The Accidental Secret Agent tells the story of Kevin Twigg, a spy-obsessed schoolboy who turns into a secret agent after a case of mistaken identity by MI7. This 13-year-old schoolboy bears a striking resemblance to Jake Pond 006 ½, an international spy. When they swap places, Kevin finds himself caught up in a dangerous and daring mission to prevent the destruction of the internet, and it’s up to him to discover who is behind this dastardly plot.

the accidental secret agent, tom mclaughlin, book review

This is a truly laugh-out-loud book, which is guaranteed to entertain and amuse both children and adults alike. A hilarious spy spoof, it is a clever mix of slapstick and subtle humour, which is brilliantly complemented by Tom’s fantastic and witty illustrations. There is so much joy to be found within these pages that you will struggle to put it down. It contains the perfect mix of despicable villains, bumbling baddies and crafty children. Kevin is a magnificent but hapless hero who – more by luck than virtue – manages to outwit one of the greatest criminal masterminds.

Full of humour, chaos and adventure, this would make a fantastic class novel for key stage 2 children, because it is such a dream to read aloud. It would be a wonderful addition to any library or classroom, I really can’t recommend it enough. Happy reading!

Jo Clarke is school librarian at Whitchurch Church of England Primary, in Hampshire. She writes a book blog, and tweets as @bookloverJo

Pupil reviews

I assembled my best team of reading agents from my Year 3 and 4 Chatterbooks for this Top Secret Mission.

“This book is amazing. Full of humour and laughs, with the epic adventure of a boy whose life changes when he meets a shady character. When I read this book, it lured me in like magic. I could not wait for the next page, and when my mum told me to go to sleep I was really annoyed as I was extremely wrapped up in the story. I would really recommend this book to my friends.”
Aidan, 9

“This book was so funny that my cheeks started hurting two pages before chapter one (there was a hilarious note at the beginning). If you ever wished James Bond would be funnier, you will love this.”
Griff, 9

“My favourite spy gadget was Kevin’s magic robotic trousers called WALLI! I laughed lots at his adventure and HAD to read it aloud. I’m even repeating my favourite phrase from the funny scene in Jake Pond’s flat: 'Noooo way!…NORWAY SELECTED'. All good readers who love funny or spy-crime stories will love this book."
Edie, 8

“This book is about a normal schoolboy who is always daydreaming and then accidentally becomes an adventurous secret agent who has lots of futuristic gadgets and gizmos. The book is extremely funny and hard to put down. In fact, I read it in one go! I hope there will be another book of new adventures.”
Alexander, 9

“I enjoyed the plot because it was mysterious, stealthy and adventurous at the same time. Also I found it was a proper page-turner because at the end of every chapter there was suspense. My favourite character was Kevin, because he jumps off a tall building and zipwires down bunting, holding on to the end of a belt, ending face-first in a fountain with his bottom on show.”
Gwendolen, 8

If you or your class would like to write a review for TES, please contact Adi Bloom, on adi.bloom@tesglobal.com

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Jo Clarke

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