"How I Found the Strong"
"Vamos a Cuba" Banned

Spies in the NY Times

Joe Queenan, perhaps best known as a reviewer for his raking-over-the-coals of A.J. Jacobs's "The Know-It-All," reviews children's spy books in the June 18th New York Times Book Review, and finds Anthony Horowitz's Alex Rider thrillers lacking. Charlie Higson's Young Bond books fare much better. The Times considers a number of other books for kids in the same issue; Lilly's Big Day, by Kevin Henkes, gets a shout-out in the Bookshelf section. Catherine Gilbert Murdock's young adult novel, Dairy Queen, receives some more acclaim, too.

By the way, Jacobs eventually responded to Queenan with a column of his own, "I Am Not a Jackass." Will Horowitz object to being called "a clunky, uninspiring prose stylist" and his novel's being labeled as having "zero intellectual content"? Time will tell.


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I've read two of the Alex Rider books, and I felt that the concept was more interesting than the execution. I wouldn't put it as harshly as Queenan did, though.

I used to love spy books, though I've not read any in forever. If you want to see harsh, Gail, read the review of A.J. Jacobs. Yikes.

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