Thursday, November 17, 2016

"Spy Ski School"

Stuart Gibbs's middle grade novels include Space Case, Belly Up, Poached, Spy School, Spy Camp and the Last Musketeer series. He also writes for TV and film. Before all that, he studied capybaras, the world's largest rodents. Really.

Gibbs applied the Page 69 Test to Spy Ski School, the fourth book in the Spy School series, and reported the following:
Page 69 of Spy Ski School is very representative of the rest of the book. (In fact, when I do public readings from SSS, I often read a section that includes page 69, rather than starting from from the beginning of the book). SSS is the fourth book in the Spy School series, which follows 13-year-old Ben Ripley’s misadventures at a top secret academy run by the CIA. In this book, Ben has finally earned the right to go on an authorized CIA mission, but as is always the case in this series, nothing works out quite as well for him as he’d hoped.

Page 69 takes place during a scene where star spy-in-training Erica Hale has convinced Ben Ripley, our hapless hero, to join her on a reconnaissance mission — and then uses him as a diversion to forward her own agenda. Thus, on this single page, there is comedy, action, intrigue and danger, which I strive to have a nice blend of throughout the series. It’s a tough balance to achieve: often, some scenes are more comic, while others are more focused on the action. But page 69 is a nice combination of everything that I want this series to be.
Visit Stuart Gibbs's website.

The Page 69 Test: Space Case.

--Marshal Zeringue