Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Codename Zero by Chris Rylander

Posted by Caitie F on February 2, 2014

Title: Codename Zerocodename
Author: Chris Rylander
Hardcover: 368 pages
Pub Date: Feb 4, 2014
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Rating: ++++

Summary from pub:

There are places in the world where heroes are born. There are places where brave men and women fight a never-ending battle against evil in order to keep our country and all other countries safe. There are places where the fate of our planet is being decided, even now as we speak, the consequences of which will echo through history.

None of these places are in North Dakota.

Carson Fender, seventh grader and notorious prankster, knows this. He’s lived in North Dakota for his entire life, going to the same boring school every day, the same boring movie theater every week, and the same boring state fair every year. Nothing ever changes, and nothing ever happens. That is, until today. Because today a desperate man is going to hand him a package with a dire set of instructions. And that package is going to lead Carson to discover that there’s a secret government agency operating in his small, quiet North Dakota hometown.


Thrillers are coming to middle grade and it is not a moment too soon! I am so excited to see this genre moving into this age group. I really think middle school kids are going to love it.

This is a very exciting and funny book. Carson is a great kid. He is the prankster of the school, the pranker who is smart enough to not get caught. Reading about what he has pulled will make readers crack up. I know I wasn’t that clever when I was his age, but there are kids who are. This humor stays with the book, even when things get a more serious, which is perfect for middle grade.

The pace of this book is very fast, as most thrillers are. The story really moves along and there isn’t too much waiting to find out what is really happening. It doesn’t get dragged on, which will help new readers to the genre get hooked. The action is also great. Sure, it isn’t realistic, but neither is the idea that a kid is going to help out a government agency. The action scenes are easy to follow, and very exciting.

Every with this being a fun thriller, it still has a great message without being a message book. Carson has to help out another kid and bring him into his group of friends. This kid is very different from Carson, but he learns that he is still a great person to be friends with.

Codename Zero is a great middle grade thriller that will get the age group hooked on the genre.



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