If you’re looking for a brilliant book series that is fun for young readers, the Spy School series is an outstanding option!
This series comes from the magnificent mind of Stuart Gibbs, a popular American author who has created numerous series.
The Spy School series is a thrilling tale of espionage. Benjamin Ripley is a thirteen-year-old boy who wishes to become a CIA agent.
However, Ben is held back by his awkwardness. Why would the CIA hire a thirteen-year-old middle school student?
Yet, Ben’s dream becomes reality when he is enlisted into the CIA Academy of Espionage, which poses as a magnet school.
Throughout this series, you can follow Ben as he trains to become a top-secret spy!
The Spy School series is aimed at younger readers between the age of 8 and 12 years. If you’re between these ages, you will likely love the Spy School series.
About The Spy School Series
As mentioned, the Spy School series documents the life of Benjamin Ripley, a seemingly ordinary middle school student who is thrust into the world of espionage.
The books cover Ben’s journey as he delves into a range of marvelous missions, including stopping a bomb!
Throughout the series, Ben encounters a nefarious organization known as SPYDER.
Assisted by various fellow spies, including Erica Hale and Cyrus, Ben attempts to bring down the villainous SPYDER.
Erica is perhaps the second most important character in the series, acting as Ben’s crush and close ally.
One of the main themes of this series is trust.
The books often reinforce the lesson that you should never trust people. In this spy world, betrayal is a regular yet deadly occurrence.
Other prominent themes in the series include friendship and deceit.
The book series fits into a range of different genres, including mystery, thriller, espionage, and action.
The Spy School Books In Order
The first book in this series by Stuart Gibbs is simply called Spy School.
This book introduces readers to the nerdy yet relatable Ben Ripley. Ben dreams of becoming a CIA agent despite his awkwardness.
Ben is enrolled in a prestigious magnet school. Yet, he soon discovers that this is a front for a CIA academy.
Ben embarks on a mission to stop a plot that would kill leaders in the espionage industry.
- The book sets up Ben as a fun and interesting protagonist.
- This is a page-turning read that kids will find hard to put down.
- There are some curse words in this book that may not be suitable for all readers.
In the second book of the series, Ben progresses to the next level of his training.
Namely, he is sent to a wilderness camp over the summer. This very much contrasts with Ben’s dream of having a casual and relaxed summer vacation.
During this summer camp, Ben gets the opportunity to meet the grandfather of his close friend Erica, a skilled spy named Cyrus Hale.
However, Ben soon uncovers an evil scheme, whereby SPYDER has infiltrated the camp. Can Ben, Erica, and Cyrus escape danger?
- The stakes are raised in this second book.
- Gibbs uses humor brilliantly, often giving the book a sarcastic writing style.
- The adult characters are not portrayed well in this sequel.
First released in 2015, the third book covers Ben’s expulsion from his spy school.
During Capture the Flag, Ben accidentally damages school property, Consequently, he is embarrassingly expelled.
Ben is then offered a position at the rival SPYDER academy. Convinced by Erica, Ben enrolls in this villainous espionage academy.
He soon becomes embroiled in a scheme to launch missiles. Can Ben work out what SPYDER is up to and stop this missile launch in time?
- This is a great way of getting readers to learn more about the villainous organization SPYDER.
- Gibbs crafts a fun narrative that will hook readers.
- The characters that are introduced in this book, such as Nefarious Jones, feel a little flat.
Up next, Spy Ski School tells the story of Ben’s adventure at a ski resort.
In this book, Ben and his colleagues, including Erica and her grandfather Cyrus, are deployed to a ski resort in Colorado.
As these spies enjoy the high slopes, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Ben is given the assignment to befriend Jessica Shang, the daughter of an infamous mob boss known as Leo Shang.
Through this friendship, Ben plans on finding out all about the evil plans of this mob boss. Will this plan be a success? Will Erica admit her feelings toward Ben?
- This book feels different from its predecessors, focusing on a different villain.
- The ski resort is a refreshing setting for this narrative.
- Erica’s story in this book is frustrating.
After surviving many unique experiences, Ben is given his first solo mission.
Namely, he must stop a presidential assassination. With the safety of America on his shoulders, Ben must connect with the son of the President.
This mission proves to be incredibly dangerous, as Ben is planted with a bomb.
With his reputation in tatters, Ben must rely on the help of his friends to clear his name and defeat SPYDER.
- Gibbs gives this narrative high stakes.
- There are plenty of plot twists to keep readers on their toes.
- The plot feels a little derivative of other books in the series.
Ben and Erica are assigned to a beautiful beach resort known as Aquarius. However, this is not a vacation. Instead, this spy duo has an important task.
Namely, they have to follow Murray Hill, a SPYDER agent who promises to take them to the headquarters of this villainous team.
As usual, the mission does not go to plan. Ben and Erica find a deadly scheme that could accelerate global warming.
While this is going on, Ben also has an important romantic decision to make as he struggles to choose between Erica and Zoe.
- Erica’s narrative is much stronger in this book.
- Gibbs provides a perfect balance between suspense and comedy.
- The SPYDER scheme feels predictable.
First published in 2019, Spy School British Invasion is the seventh novel of this sensational series.
Picking right up from the previous entry, Ben finds himself stranded in Mexico. Yet, Ben is not given time to rest, as he has another crucial mission.
This time, Ben is sent to Europe so that he can team up with the British MI6.
Accompanied by Erica, her mother, and other spy students, Ben has to hunt the mysterious Mr. E, the overall leader of SPYDER. In doing so, they may be able to defeat SPYDER for good!
- This riveting book will keep readers engaged.
- Gibbs includes a diverse range of characters.
- There is less suspense in this book when compared to other entries in the series.
SPYDER has seemingly been defeated. As a result, Ben can begin to lead a relatively normal life.
In Spy School Revolution, Erica has seemingly turned against the CIA. When everyone turns against Erica, Ben is the only one that advocates for her innocence.
Ben challenges his friends as he aims to prove that Erica is innocent.
As a result, Ben must face his friends and colleagues as he attempts to find the group that has been blackmailing Erica. Is she truly innocent?
- Erica gets the chance to shine.
- There is plenty of action and character development.
- This book is not as humorous as the others in the series.
The ninth book is Spy School at Sea. As the name suggests, this book takes the characters on an epic seafaring voyage.
Ben and his allies, including Mike and Erica, are sent to Nicaragua, where his nemesis, Murray Hill, is believed to be hiding.
This team poses as a family and boards The Emperor of the Seas, a massive cruise ship.
Catherine and Alexander Hale play the role of the parents, while Ben, Mike, and Ertica act as their children on this luxury cruise.
This glamorous location proves to be more dangerous than initially thought. Can the team find Murray and uncover his plans?
- Ben returns to being a smart and funny character after these qualities have been missing in other books.
- Murray Hill is an enjoyably incompetent character.
- Mike and Erica receive important plot developments.
- The plot is not as gripping as it could be.
Lastly, Ben faces insurmountable challenges and dangers in the tenth entry in the series.
Ben’s bitter enemy Murray Hill has returned and made Ben his new target. Murray frames Ben at the center of several internet conspiracies.
Hunted by assassins, Ben’s life has never been in more danger. Ben has to hunt Murray down and force him to end the hit.
Unfortunately, this is a solo mission for Ben, who receives little help from his most trusted allies.
- This is a fitting book for the tenth entry into the series.
- Gibbs sensationally subverts the writing formula that he’s used for most of his other books. The result is a fresh and interesting narrative.
- Gibbs delivers a thought-provoking depiction of conspiracy theories.
- This is quite a short book.
Technically, Spy School Project X is the last entry into this series.
However, there is another book in this series. Spy School the Graphic Novel is an adaptation of the first novel. However, it has been made into a graphic novel.
It doesn’t matter when you read this graphic novel. Unlike the other novels in the series, it doesn’t need to be read in chronological order.
First released in 2022, this book tells the origin of Ben’s relationship with espionage.
- The drawings are a great way of getting kids to read.
- The illustrations are fun and vibrant.
- This is a very quick read, as there is primarily just dialogue to read.
Likewise, Spy Camp has been transformed into a graphic novel.
Illustrated by Anjan Sarkar and written by Stuart Gibbs, this graphic novel centers around Ben’s time at a summer camp.
Though Ben is expecting to have an enjoyable summer, he is soon forced to attend a training camp.
During his survival training sessions, Ben soon discovers the presence of SPYDER. Will Ben be tempted to join this immoral organization?
- Sarkar’s illustrations are full of life.
- It tells the same story as Spy Camp.
If you adore books that are packed with intrigue, then the Spy School series by Stuart Gibbs will be a perfect match for your reading tastes.
Though these books are suitable for younger readers, they still contain enough action and mystery to appeal to older readers.
So if you enjoyed the Artemis Fowl books, you will love the Spy School series. So why not read these books in the correct order?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Age Is The Spy School Series Suitable For?
Generally, the Spy School series is aimed at kids between the ages of 8 and 12. However, older readers can still take pleasure in these gripping books.
Is The Spy School Series Inappropriate?
No, there is very little inappropriate content in the Spy School series apart from the occasional cuss word. However, these books can sometimes cover quite serious topics, such as bomb threats.