MIDDLE GRADE NONFICTION : Top Secret: Spies, Codes, Capers, Gadgets, and Classified Cases Revealed by Crispin Boyer & Suzanne Zimbler


Oh, didn't realize you were leaving behind a trail of evidence? You will after you read this book! In fact, you'll know all the tricks of the spy trade, get the scoop behind sleuthing, and discover all kinds of skills, like how ninjas walked on water. You'll read about cold cases and hidden places, cool disguises and wicked surprises, menacing mysteries, undiscovered histories, and so much more!

From the world's most elite spy agencies to the coolest spy gadgets of today and the most spine-tingling conspiracies and covert cover-ups ever, this book is jam-packed with everything that's allowed to be revealed. You'll get to take a crack at codes that leave even the world's most elite code breakers totally stumped, get behind-the-scenes access to how movie magic really happens, take a sneak peek at the world's most covert recipes, unravel the tricks magicians use to astonish their audiences, and get up close with the world's most mysterious places. With tongue-in-cheek "How to Be a Spy" activities, you and your friends will get to put your budding spy skills to the test. And when you're all done … don't forget to wipe this book for prints and store it safely with your secret stash. After all, you don't want it falling into the wrong hands!


As with most of their books, Top Secret by National Geographic Kids presents a fascinating look at the history of spies and secret agents and their gadgets and secret codes.  Using photographs, illustrations, and diagrams, the authors take readers on a journey through secrets of the past and how they have lead to the inventions of today.  Divided into eight chapters, each chapter examines a specific topic such as : secret agencies, identities, history, or gadgets.  In addition to all the great information, there are some activities scattered throughout the book that allow young readers to get a taste for what spy work was actually like.  Each chapter even has a code for readers to solve.  A great book for readers who are fascinated with the secret world of spies, codes, and gadgets. Here are some fun facts included in the book:
  • The Amber Room built in the 18th century in St. Petersburg, Russia was built of panels of amber with gold and mirrors, but disappeared during World War II and has yet to be found.  
  • Colditz Castle was used by the Nazis during World War II to house prisoners of war that habitually tried to escape.  Putting so many escape artists together, however, backfired when over 30 successful escapes occurred.
  • The CIA built and used a fully robotic catfish in the 1990s.
These and other fun facts make this book a treasure trove of great information.


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