Delve into the extraordinary abilities of the twelve-year-old mind in this “fast-paced, superhero-tinged spy novel” (Publishers Weekly), the thrilling start to a middle grade series that expands the possibilities of power.
No one has any confidence in twelve-year-old Christopher Lane. His teachers discount him as a liar and a thief, and his mom doesn’t have the energy to deal with him. But a mysterious visit from the Ministry of Education indicates that Chris might have some potential after all: He is invited to attend the prestigious Myers Holt Academy.
When Christopher begins at his new school, he is astounded at what he can do. It seems that age twelve is a special time for the human brain, which is capable of remarkable feats—as also evidenced by Chris’s peers Ernest and Mortimer Genver, who, at the direction of their vengeful and manipulative mother, are testing the boundaries of the human mind.
But all this experimentation has consequences, and Chris soon finds himself forced to face them—or his new life will be over before it can begin.
Christopher Lane lives in a dilapidated house in London with his deeply depressed, widowed mother. Constantly in trouble and reduced to stealing money to buy groceries, Chris is stunned when he passes a very unusual interview and is accepted into an exclusive boarding school. Myers Holt Academy is actually a secret project of the English government to train students in the Ability: telepathy, telekinesis, accelerated learning, and other amazing feats only possible when kids turn 12 and gain access to the brain's complete potential for a single year. Myers Holt was shut down 30 years ago after a failed mission, but when a villain starts targeting the program's veterans, Chris and his five classmates are recruited to reopen the school and stop the attacks. Vaughan's debut has some occasionally stilted prose and plausibility gaps, but readers will enjoy the candy-shop wish fulfillment in this fast-paced, superhero-tinged spy novel. With its comics-style origin stories and vows of revenge, this first book in a planned series has an intriguing concept that could hit a middle-grade sweet spot. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8 12.