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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Problems in Prague: JJ Bennett: Junior Spy is an action and adventure novel for children and preteens written by Alba Arango. JJ was thrilled to be with his dad on assignment. His dad claimed he was a computer tech for the CIA, but JJ liked to think that he was really a spy. JJ was in Prague with his dad, his new tutor, Ms. Hernandez, and her twelve-year-old daughter, Maggie. While they had only met a few days ago, Maggie and JJ had quickly become friends and partners in crime. They were touring Prague Castle when JJ noticed Ivana, the young Russian girl he had met the day before in the Ruzyne-Prague Airport. She had mistaken him for someone else and spoken in Russian to him until she realized her error. Now seeing her outside the Black Tower, which Maggie said was once used as a prison, was a lure too attractive for him and Maggie to resist. They decided to follow her and were stopped by a locked steel door, but then two men opened it and went in as the two friends watched from a concealed vantage point. Maggie quickly inserted her ruler in the doorway to keep it from locking. What was inside the tower, and why was it so important?
Alba Arango’s action and adventure novel for children and preteens, Problems in Prague: JJ Bennett: Junior Spy, is a fast-paced and exciting thriller novel that follows JJ and Maggie as they try to resolve a decades-old mystery that could have horrifying repercussions if it landed in the wrong hands. I loved seeing how well Maggie and JJ work as a team and delighted in experiencing Prague through their eyes, especially seeing St. Vitus Church, the Astronomical Clock and learning about the gastronomically awesome street food, Smazeny Syr -- and yes, I’ve Googled recipes to make it for myself. Arango’s plot is tidy, and a treat to follow, and her characters are inventive, imaginative and a lot of fun to sleuth along with. Problems in Prague: JJ Bennett: Junior Spy is most highly recommended.