Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Secret Agent Training Manual by Elizabeth Singer Hunt: Book Review

The Secret Agent Training ManualThe Secret Agent Training Manual
Elizabeth Singer Hunt
Illustrated by Brian Williamson 

Publisher: Weinstein Books, 2017
Reviewer: Sharon M. Himsl

Age level: 8-12, Middle Grade
Pages: 94

Learn how to make and decode top secret messages in this nonfiction companion workbook specially designed for the series Secret Agents Jack and Max Stalwart. Readers learn over twenty-five spy techniques on how to keep secret messages private. They then can send coded messages to a friend or “fellow spy.” After learning the methods, readers are challenged to test their skills at the end. The history of cryptography is also described, going as far back as ancient Greece thousands of years ago. For example, Herodotus is known to have used special code to warn his people that the Persian army was fast approaching. Drawings and plenty of fill-in boxes are used throughout the manual to work out presented problems. Readers can write on the pages as they learn, as paper is workbook quality, comparable to a coloring book. A glossary and resources are included, as well as answer keys for workbook exercises.


  1. Sounds like fun! I assume it doesn’t matter if the reader is unfamiliar with the books concerned, although those would be the kids most interested in this? A bit like the Percy Jackson intro to Greek mythology.

    Clearly not for school libraries, though, if it’s meant to be written in!

  2. Hey, Sue. Good to see you. No it's not a library book but no doubt fun for the kids. I like that it gives them something to do besides computer games. I got the impression they would also need the companion book.


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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.