My ranty pants are in the wash, so I thought I’d take a break and talk books like back in the old days.
I’ve read a few great ones this year.
I’d love to cozy up and chat about them if you’re in the mood.
Today’s chat is about Double Vision: Code Name 711 by F.T. Bradley
It’s book two in a series. Book one was set in Paris and inspired lavish promises from me to my kids.
Code Name 711 is set in Washington DC and includes real Washington/USA spy history and information. It too has inspired promises of a mad caper with the family.
Double Vision: Code Name 711 starts with Linc Baker getting recruited for another Pandora mission. This time in Washington DC. If he agrees to go, the feds will take care of his GPA for him AND he’ll get to meet the President and receive a presidential medal of freedom.
It’s an offer Linc can’t refuse. Mostly because he needs those grades.
In DC, Linc reunites with his old tech pal Henry, and his nemesis – Benjamin Green, his look-a-like real junior agent who is also on the case.
The adventure begins as the kids are briefed on their mission – They need to find George Washington’s legendary coat, rumored to make its wearer invincible, before a deadly mole uses it in a plot against the president, and the white house.
Linc and Ben can’t stand the thought of working together, so they decide to compete against each other instead. Benjamin Green has his junior agent manual, and Linc has Henry’s awesome spy tech. The race to solve the case is on.
Then Linc gets another boost from the First Daughter who knows DC like the back of her hand and can’t help but get involved in this high stakes caper to save her mom – the President.
There is so much to love in this book – the amazing tour of DC, including the Spy Museum. The awesome real history of American spies dating back to the revolutionary war and America’s first spy organization – the Culper Ring and the pulse pounding action that keeps the pages turning.
Linc Baker careens from danger to danger – some of them self-made “Linc Disasters”, others are close calls and near misses with other spy agencies, Ben Green and the mysterious bad guys.
Just when we think the case has been solved and the day has been saved – Linc remembers there’s one more piece to the puzzle and he can’t leave the first daughter, or the president exposed.
He’s going to need to pull one more stunt to close the case for good – and he’s going to need everyone to play along, even his nemesis – Benjamin Green.
My daughters loved this book for the fast pacing, the perfectly pitched humor that infused the pages, the wonderful and unique voice of Linc Baker, the awesome geekiness of Henry and they LOVED Amy, the smart, brave, don’t take no for an answer, first daughter.
As a parent, I loved the history, the geography, the level of detail woven in so naturally that it never stole the show from the action, but still drew a mental map for me to follow.
I loved the casual and natural way F.T. Bradley gave the USA a female president. As if, of course there is a woman president, why wouldn’t there be? It pointed to a cultural shift in perception that I hope we are getting closer to. One in which that idea really will feel like a natural, casual, “well duh” possibility rather than something we have to continue striving for.
I have purchased copies of both Double Vision books for my daughters’ school library because I want to help inspire more kids to look outside their own boxes, to see how they can turn their own “worst” features into their greatest assets.
Linc Baker is a disaster on a skate board – but his quick thinking gets him out of more trouble than it gets him into. His ability to create distractions and destruction for a good cause is what sets him apart. Sure, sometimes he messes up, but his good heart always helps him find unconventional ways to make it right again.
Linc shows kids that no one is perfect – and more, that it is our imperfections that make us who we are and help us collide with greatness.
Ben Green is the perfect kid agent, and even he has to be saved by the mad-cap brilliance that only Linc Baker can bring.
In a world where kids are told to sit down, pay attention and stop wiggling 7 hours a day, it’s refreshing to see the wiggly disaster child save the day!
Double Vision and Double Vision: Code Name 711 are both available now and make great holiday gifts for the 8-12 year old in your life.