Codename Zero

Chris Rylander

Book - 2014

"When a desperate man in a nondescript black suit asks thirteen-year-old Carson Fender to deliver a mysterious package for him, the middle schooler discovers there's something going on in his sleepy North Dakota hometown he had never expected--something involving the CIA"--

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New York, NY : Walden Pond Press, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2014]
Main Author
Chris Rylander (-)
First edition
Physical Description
352 pages ; 22 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Seventh-grader Carson Fender pulls pranks to liven up the most boring school in the most boring city in the most boring state. But when a stranger gives him a mysterious package, Carson discovers that there is a supersecret government agency in town, and it wants his help. That plot produces an initially fast-paced and energetic story, and although part of the book's appeal is its humor, it can fall flat at times. The supporting cast is a bit one-dimensional but entertaining. The mysterious-package countdown gives a lot of tension to the first part of the story, which then slows toward the end. But now that the series has a setup, further adventures should be able to move forward; enough dangling threads remain to support what comes next.--Hailey, Peggy Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-Carson is a perpetually bored seventh grader who satisfies his craving for action by orchestrating increasingly elaborate pranks at school. One day, he is handed a mysterious package and told he must deliver it-but not open it under any circumstances!-and suddenly life becomes anything but boring. The package is connected to a top-secret government agency, which recruits Carson to protect one of his classmates and foil the plans of a terrorist organization. Excitement builds as Carson-codename Zero-and his quirky friends put together the puzzle as only a team of plucky, imaginative kids can. Carson and his friends are funny and likable, and the pacing of the story is just right. The action steadily builds to a climax that satisfies, yet also whets the appetite for a sequel. Good for reluctant readers, and for any kid who likes tales of action, mischief, and friendship.-Emma Burkhart, Springside School, Philadelphia, PA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Bored by his mundane North Dakotan existence, seventh grader Carson gets his kicks pulling elaborate pranks. But then one day a mysterious man hands him a package ready to self-destruct, plunging Carson into an underground world of secret government agencies and international crime. The story is told with humor, suspense, and a bit of heart, and the last page seems to promise another installment. (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Desperate to spice up life in his small, North Dakota town, seventh-grader Carson Fender has secured his position as Erik Hill Middle School's number-one prankster. But shortly after Carson orchestrates the release of a herd of fainting goats on school grounds, life in Minot gets a whole lot more interestingand it doesn't have anything to do with the goats. When a strange man unloads a mysterious package on Carson and informs him that "the fate of the world depends" on him delivering it to a Mr. Jensen, it becomes clear that there's more going on in this small town than he ever imagined, and Carson is now at the heart of it all. With its high-stakes secret missions, gadgets and underground government agencies, readers in search of a solid middle-grade spy novel will find plenty to enjoy here. Carson is a funny and engaging protagonist, and readers will relate to both his longing for a more interesting life and his angst once he finds it. Though Carson has an intriguing cast of close friends, including a deliciously unapologetic, conspiracy-theorist best friend, one of the novel's greatest shortcomings is that they don't play a larger role in the story. Still, this is an exciting, zippy read that will leave readers wondering if there's more to their own hometowns than meets the eye. (Thriller. 9-12)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.