The League of Unexceptional Children by Gitty Daneshvari is a welcome change. No magical, undiscovered world-changing super-talented children here! No half human, half immortal orphans!
Nope, this book revolves around two children so bland, so mediocre, so unremarkable as to be almost invisible to the world around them.
And that makes them PERFECT for the secret work that The League of Unexceptional Children does.
When the Vice-President is kidnapped in the middle of the night, Jonathan and Shelly are recruited to go undercover to find him before the VP can disclose the nation's most valuable nuclear codes. Jonathan and Shelly don't actually need to go undercover. They are so unremarkable that Jonathan's teacher thinks he's a new student almost every day. No one even hears Shelly when she talks.
After a slow start involving an incompetent security guard and a short villain, the book turns into a spy thriller heavy on spycraft-ish talk and trappings and with more comic escapades than thrills.
To say much more will tell you almost all. This is a quick fun read in which two ordinary kids fumble through saving the country. They even compete with two superspy kids from Europe.
The best thing about this book - for me, anyway - is the way the characters of our heroes develop. They may look and act boring to the world at large but, given a task that challenges them, they show some spunk, if not much talent. Hmmmm, could there actually be a redeeming message in this silly book? ....... Nope, probably not.
Key words: Quick, Funny, Slapstick, Spies!