Looking for an action-packed thriller filled with espionage and lies? We’ve gathered a collection of war-heroes, government agents, and society-saving operatives.
Chains – Laurie Halse Anderson
As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.
The Fixer – Jennifer Lynn Barnes
When sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick is sent to stay with her older sister, she has no idea that the famed Ivy Kendrick is the capital’s number one “fixer.” For powerful people looking to make a scandal disappear, Tess’s sister is there to help . . . for a price.
And no sooner does Tess enroll the prestigious Hardwicke School than she unwittingly finds herself following in Ivy’s footsteps. Tess never thought she and Ivy had much in common, but when her new friends at school need help, she discovers that her talents quickly make her Hardwicke’s go-to high-school fixer.
Secrets pile up as each sister lives a double life–until their worlds come crashing together in a conspiracy that reaches from the halls of Hardwicke to Capitol Hill. Suddenly, there is much more on the line than good grades, money, or politics. The odds are stacked against Tess, and the price for this fix might be more than she can pay.
Also Known As – Robin Benway
Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.
Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She’ll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school’s security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.
The Shadow Project – Herbie Brennan
Danny Lipman is a thief . . . until one night he robs the wrong house. He inadvertently breaks into the headquarters of the Shadow Project, a secret government organization where teenage spies are trained to leave their bodies, using astral projection to travel around the world on deadly missions.
Danny is captured, but the Project leaders quickly realize he has a special gift. And when a key operative—the director’s daughter, Opal—goes missing, he is offered a choice: Join the Shadow Project or go to jail.
Danny joins and is quickly sent to investigate the Project’s current target: a worldwide terrorist organization known as the Sword of Wrath. But as he gets deeper in, he discovers both the Project and the Sword of Wrath are far more than they seem. Danny and his fellow operatives are caught up in an ancient supernatural conflict and will have to learn how to survive in a world without boundaries of space or time, where the wrong choice could be their last.
Nathan Fox: Dangerous Times – L. Brittney
Sir Francis Walsingham, England’s spymaster general, has eyes and ears all over the world. His secret service protects Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth—and ensures the might of all of England. Now he has a new recruit. Fourteen-year-old Nathan Fox is an actor in the same company as young Will Shakespeare. His life in the theatre has taught him a thing or two about disguises and deception. But nothing can prepare Nathan for the shadowy world he’s about to enter now.
Nathan is trained in swordplay and streetfighting, codebreaking and escapes. Then he’s paired with fearless spy John Pearce for his first mission: a journey to Venice to forge an alliance against the powerful King of Spain.
Posing as master and servant, Nathan and Pearce move smoothly through Venetian society . . . until they cross paths with the great General Othello. Soon they become entangled in his tragic love affair with a young noblewoman, Desdemona.
Nathan’s new life holds more action and more drama than he ever saw on a stage. But will he ever survive to tell Will Shakespeare this tale?
Wolf Mark – Joseph Bruchac
Luke King knows a lot of things. Like four different ways to disarm an enemy before the attacker can take a breath. Like every detail of every book he’s ever read. And Luke knows enough just enough about what his father does as a black ops infiltrator to know which questions not to ask. Like why does his family move around so much? Luke just hopes that this time his family is settled for a while. He’ll finally be able to have a normal life. He’ll be able to ask the girl he likes to take a ride with him on his motorcycle. He’ll hang out with his friends. He’ll be invisible just as he wants. But when his dad goes missing, Luke realizes that life will always be different for him. Suddenly he must avoid the kidnappers looking to use him as leverage against his father, while at the same time evading the attention of the school’s mysterious elite clique of Russian hipsters, who seem much too interested in Luke’s own personal secret. Faced with multiple challenges and his emerging paranormal identity, Luke must decide who to trust as he creates his own destiny.
Two Lies And A Spy – Kat Carlton
When sixteen-year-old Kari’s dad sends her an unexpected text, she and her brother immediately go into hiding. Because when your parents are superspies and your dad declares a Code Black, it can only mean something bad. Very bad.
Kari soon discovers that her parents have been disavowed and declared traitors, and she’s determined to clear their names. Breaking into the Agency seems like a reasonable plan, especially with a team that includes her longtime crush, Luke, as well as her two best friends—an expert hacker with attitude and a master martial artist—and Luke’s popular, vindictive twin sister. Oh, and a new guy, who’s as cute as he is complicated…
Etiquette And Espionage – Gail Carriger
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.
All Fall Down – Ally Carter
Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:
1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.
As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.
Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.
Heist Society – Ally Carter
For as long as she can remember, Katarina has been a part of the family business—thieving. When Kat tries to leave “the life” for a normal life, her old friend Hale conspires to bring her back into the fold. Why? A mobster’s art collection has been stolen, and Kat’s father is the only suspect. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.
The only solution is to find the paintings and steal them back. Kat’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history—and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You – Ally Carter
Cammie Morgan is a student at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, a fairly typical all-girls school—that is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE and the latest in chemical warfare in science, and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes in computer class. The Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses but it’s really a school for spies. Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl.
Tempest – Julie Cross
The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.
That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.
But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.
Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.
The Pale Assassin – Patricia Elliott
Spoiled, beautiful, fourteen-year-old Eugenie de Boncoeur is accustomed to outrageous privilege. The French Revolution may rage around her, but Eugenie’s luxurious lifestyle is only improved by visits from her brother, Armand, who is especially doting since the two were orphaned. What Eugenie doesn’t know is that their guardian has promised her in marriage to the wealthy, vengeful Le Fantome, a revolutionary who is nursing a secret grudge against her family. As the Revolution becomes increasingly violent, Eugenie is shipped off to convent school. Finally, there is no place in France that is safe for her. Eugenie dusts off her lightly used brains and rises to the challenge of survival. Soon she is in the thick of turmoil and romance, confronting spies, secret agents, and double-crossing suitors in her quest to get out of France alive. Sympathies shift, and every choice can change–or end–a life.
All Is Fair – Dee Garretson
Lady Mina Tretheway knows she’s destined for greater things than her fancy boarding school, where she’s being taught to be a proper English lady. It’s 1918, and war is raging across Europe. Unlike her father and brother, who are able to assist in the war effort, Mina is stuck sorting out which fork should be used with which dinner course.
When Mina receives a telegram that’s written in code, she finally has her chance to do something big. She returns to her childhood home of Hallington Manor, joined by a family friend, Lord Andrew Graham, and a dashing and mysterious young American, Lucas. The three of them must band together to work on a dangerous project that could turn the tide of the war.
Thrilled that she gets to contribute to the war effort at least, Mina jumps headfirst into the world of cryptic messages, spycraft, and international intrigue. She, Lucas, and Andrew have to work quickly, because if they don’t succeed, more soldiers will disappear into the darkness of war.
Den Of Thieves – Julia Golding
Book 3 of Cat Royal Adventures series
I am Cat Royal – Orphan, Adventurer, Actress . . .’My adventures have brought me here, to the streets of Paris, where I face a host of new troubles. A new mystery is unfolding before my eyes. And, if I can avoid the hangman’s noose I must use all my acting talents to get to the bottom of it!’Exciting, funny and packed with adventure . . . Cat Royal never fails to stir up trouble wherever she goes.
River Secrets – Shannon Hale
Book 3 Books of Bayern series
Razo has never considered himself anything but ordinary–and certainly not a great soldier. So he’s sure it’s out of pity that his captain asks him to join an elite mission escorting the ambassador into Tira, Bayern’s greatest enemy.
But when the Bayern arrive in the strange southern country, it’s Razo who discovers the first dead body. He is also the only Bayern able to befriend the right people–potential allies who can provide information about the ever-increasing murders–like the beautiful Lady Dasha. If Razo can embrace his talents, he might be the only one who can get the Bayern soldiers home alive.
Sure Fire – Jack Higgins
For twins Rich and Jade, their lives have just been turned upside down. When their mother is tragically killed in a car crash, their long-lost father, John Chance, appears to collect them at the funeral. He’s a bachelor who lives on his own, and it’s clear that Rich and Jade aren’t welcome. But when Chance suddenly disappears, Rich and Jade uncover the truth: He’s a spy. And now, whoever kidnapped their father is after them, too.
Silverfin: A Young Bond Novel – Charlie Higson
James Bond will one day become the world’s most famous spy, but at the moment his challenge is to fit in at his new school – making friends, learning the rules and facing up to bullies. Unknown to James though, there is an even tougher challenge awaiting him- something mysterious and deadly lurking in the water. Something called SilverFin.
Stormbreaker – Anthony Horowitz
They said his uncle Ian died in a car accident. But Alex Rider knows that’s a lie, and the bullet holes in the windshield prove it. Yet he never suspected the truth: his uncle was really a spy for Britain’s top secret intelligence agency. And now Alex has been recruited to find his uncle’s killers . . .
Orphan Monster Spy – Matt Killeen
After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He’s part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich, and he needs Sarah to hide in plain sight at a school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them. If she can befriend the daughter of a key scientist and get invited to her house, she might be able to steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. Nothing could prepare Sarah for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she’d ever imagined. But anyone who underestimates this innocent-seeming girl does so at their peril. She may look sweet, but she’s the Nazis’ worst nightmare.
City Of Spies – Susan Kim
Mystery, intrigue, and pastries abound in this World War II spy tale
Evelyn typically satisfies her longing for adventure with the help of a pencil and a sheet of paper. But when she makes a new friend, Tony, she’s happy to abandon her art for a real-life search for spies. When the two accidentally uncover a genuine mystery, it looks like Evelyn might end up in the kind of adventure she writes in her comics!
A Spy In The House – Y. S. Lee
Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan (and thief) Mary Quinn is surprised to be offered a singular education, instruction in fine manners — and an unusual vocation. Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls is a cover for an all-female investigative unit called The Agency, and at seventeen, Mary is about to put her training to the test. Assuming the guise of a lady’s companion, she must infiltrate a rich merchant’s home in hopes of tracing his missing cargo ships. But the household is full of dangerous deceptions, and there is no one to trust — or is there?
Violins Of Autumn – Amy McAuley
Betty, an American teenager in living in Britain, is determined to contribute to the cause when the Germans begin bombing London in World War II. Instead of collecting scrap metal or running air raid drills like most girls her age, Betty lies about her age and trains to become a spy and member of the Special Operations Executive. Now known by her secret agent persona, Adele Blanchard, she soon finds herself parachuting over German-occupied France in the dark of night to join the secret Resistance movement.
Adele’s missions in Paris and throughout the French countryside delivering top-secret messages, lead to several close calls with the Gestapo, but it’s when she crosses paths with a young American pilot that Adele fully realizes the brutality of this war and the seriousness of her circumstances. Plus her changing feelings for this pilot are as uncertain as their future. Can Adele elude the Gestapo long enough to enjoy the future they are trying to protect?
Traitor – Andy McNab
Danny Watts’ grandfather, Fergus, was a Deniable Operator in the SAS before he was betrayed, imprisoned, and falsely denounced as a traitor. Now Fergus has escaped, but the real traitor is determined to silence Fergus and Danny for good. Together Danny and Fergus are forced to go on the run in an against-the-odds battle for survival. As they try to clear Fergus’ name, Danny learns all the military field craft, trade skills, and covert operations techniques that are second nature to his grandfather. When Fergus is recaptured, Danny must put those skills to the test and rescue Fergus before it’s too late.
My Bonny Light Horseman – L. A. Meyer
Book 6 of Bloody Jack Adventures
The infamous pirate, riverboat seductress, master of disguise, and street-urchin-turned-sailor Jacky Faber has been captured by the French and beheaded in full view of her friends and crew.
Inconceivable? Yes! The truth is she’s secretly forced to pose as an American dancer behind enemy lines in Paris, where she entices a French general into revealing military secrets—all to save her dear friends. Then, in intrepid Jacky Faber style, she dons male clothing and worms her way into a post as galloper with the French army, ultimately leading a team of men to fight alongside the great Napoleon.
Double Digit – Annabel Monaghan
Book 2 of Digit series
To say eighteen-year-old Farrah Higgins—or Digit—is good at math is a laughable understatement. She’s been cracking codes since childhood, and is finally at home with “her people” at MIT in Cambridge. Her talents are so off the charts that her laptop is under surveillance by both the CIA and an ecoterrorist named Jonas Furnis. So when she thoughtlessly hacks into the Department of Defense’s database, she lands in serious hot water inside and outside the law.
The Recruit – Robert Muchamore
CHERUB agents are highly trained, extremely talented–and all under the age of seventeen. For official purposes, these agents do not exist. They are sent out on missions to spy on terrorists, hack into crucial documents, and gather intel on global threats—all without gadgets or weapons. It is an exceptionally dangerous job, but these agents have one crucial advantage: adults never suspect that teens are spying on them.
James is the latest CHERUB recruit. He’s a bit of a troublemaker, but he’s also brilliant. And CHERUB needs him. James has no idea what to expect, but he’s out of options. Before he can start in the field he must first survive one hundred grueling days of basic training, where even the toughest recruits don’t make it to the end….
Spy! – Anna Myers
Jonah is torn between honoring his Loyalist father’s dying wish and taking up the cause of his Patriot neighbors. Inspired by his young, charismatic teacher, Nathan Hale, Jonah begins to question his family’s beliefs. When a decision he makes leads to Nathan’s execution, Jonah must live with the damage he has caused and learn to fight for what he knows to be right. Anna Myers’s revolutionary war tale brings fresh meaning to the words “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country,” blending all the excitement that comes with battle and espionage with a thought-provoking plot about Jonah’s ethical dilemma.
Woods Runner – Gary Paulsen
Samuel, 13, spends his days in the forest, hunting for food for his family. He has grown up on the frontier of a British colony, America. Far from any town, or news of the war against the King that American patriots have begun near Boston.
But the war comes to them. British soldiers and Iroquois attack. Samuel’s parents are taken away, prisoners. Samuel follows, hiding, moving silently, determined to find a way to rescue them. Each day he confronts the enemy, and the tragedy and horror of this war. But he also discovers allies, men and women working secretly for the patriot cause. And he learns that he must go deep into enemy territory to find his parents: all the way to the British headquarters, New York City.
Streams Of Babel – Carol Plum-Ucci
Bioterrorism has come to a small town in New Jersey. Two residents die of brain aneurysms within twenty-four hours and several teens become ill with a mysterious flu, leading the government to suspect that a terrorist cell has unleashed a deadly biochemical agent. With each glass of water they drink, the people of Trinity Falls are poisoning themselves.
A world away in Pakistan, a sixteen year old computer genius working as a spy for the U.S. sees an influx of chatter from extremists about a substance they call Red Vinegar that will lead to many deaths. Can he warn the victims before it’s too late?
Shadow On The Mountain – Margi Preus
Shadow on the Mountain recounts the adventures of a 14-year-old Norwegian boy named Espen during World War II. After Nazi Germany invades and occupies Norway, Espen and his friends are swept up in the Norwegian resistance movement. Espen gets his start by delivering illegal newspapers, then graduates to the role of courier and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. During five years under the Nazi regime, he gains―and loses―friends, falls in love, and makes one small mistake that threatens to catch up with him as he sets out to escape on skis over the mountains to Sweden.
#Prettyboy Must Die – Kimberly Reid
When Peter Smith’s classmate snaps a picture of him during a late night run at the track, Peter thinks he might be in trouble. When she posts that photo―along with the caption, “See the Pretty Boy Run,”―Peter knows he’s in trouble. But when hostiles drop through the ceiling of his 6th period Chem Class, Peter’s pretty sure his trouble just became a national emergency.
Because he’s not really Peter Smith. He’s Jake Morrow, former foster-kid turned CIA operative. After a massive screw-up on his first mission, he’s on a pity assignment, a dozen hit lists and now, social media, apparently. As #Prettyboy, of all freaking things.
His cover’s blown, his school’s under siege, and if he screws up now, #Prettyboy will become #Deadboy faster than you can say, ‘fifteen minutes of fame.’ Trapped in a high school with rabid killers and rabid fans, he’ll need all his training and then some to save his job, his school and, oh yeah, his life.
Girl In Blue – Ann Rinaldi
The year is 1861. When spirited teenager Sarah Louisa learns that she is to be married off to her despicable neighbor, she runs away from home. Disguising herself as a boy, Sarah boldly joins the army–and before long is a soldier in the Civil War. Sarah navigates the joys and hardships of army life, all the while struggling to keep her true identity a secret. But Sarah’s real adventure is only just beginning. A chance encounter with a detective soon draws her into a web of mystery, intrigue, and romance–and Sarah’s courage will be put to the test as never before.
Totally Spies: I Hate The 80’s – Totally
Boogie Gus has gleefully discovered the ‘80s. And he’s bent on using his new device- “The Eightifier” to turn Beverly Hills into the ultimate ‘80s paradise. Can the spies stop Boogie Gus before their home town goes retro for good?
Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein
Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.
When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.
As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
Palace Of Spies – Sarah Zettel
Sixteen-year-old Peggy is a well-bred orphan who is coerced into posing as a lady in waiting at the palace of King George I. Life is grand, until Peggy starts to suspect that the girl she’s impersonating might have been murdered. Unless Peggy can discover the truth, she might be doomed to the same terrible fate. But in a court of shadows and intrigue, anyone could be a spy—perhaps even the handsome young artist with whom Peggy is falling in
love . . .