Dale, Anna: Dawn Undercover (2005)

Dawn Undercover - Japanese cover
Japanese cover: “The katakana is translated as “supai chiisai onna don bakkaru”, literally “Spy Girl Dawn Buckle”. (Dylan)

Dawn Buckle‘s family is strange. Her father and grand-father could be Aspergers with the keen interest they have in their respective hobbies: wall-clocks and game-shows. Dawn’s mother always has such a lot of work she must do. When the S.H.H. (Strictly Hush-Hush) ask if Dawn can come work for them during the summer, Dawn’s mother says:

“So Dawn would be out from under my feet … I mean she’d be taken care of for the whole of the summer holidays?

And I thought I was bad. I realize there are a great deal of children who live in homes where they are ignored. What a challenge this must be for the child. For Dawn, the appearance of Emma Cambridge is a gift. Finally, a person who actually notices her.

You see, Dawn Buckle is the kind of girl who seems to be invisible. She could be standing next to you and you would not notice her. She is average looking and has nothing that is extraordinary about her. A lot of us fit into that category. In fact this used to be me. I’m of average looks, like comfortable clothes, am observant, have had various types of stuffed animals and like information. My parents though, well they were a bit more present and would never have let me go off on a P.S.S.T. type of stay – that is unless I had recently gotten myself into trouble.

That is the trouble about us quiet ones. We are often underestimated. As Dawn finds out being underestimated is a bonus in the world of espionage. Just because she is seldom noticed does not mean that Dawn is incapable.

Dawn’s first lesson in spying is that things are not always as they seem. As she and Emma arrive at the headquarters of P.S.S.T. (Pursuit of Scheming Spies and Traitors) Dawn is puzzled:

“Emma opened the front gate, knocking the stalk of a magnificent sunflower. Its heavy head swung to one side, revealing a sign behind it that read “Dampside Hotel”.

Dawn is a prime example of not being what she seems. This is a great example to young boys and girls as to how girls really are. Not all girls but a lot.

For some strange reason, the apparently dead Mundo Meek seems to know too much about what is currently going on inside P.S.S.T. But is he really dead? Therein lies the mystery and the suspense.

Delightful names and acronyms are used by Anna Dale. Ms. Dale has managed to create a story that is exciting, funny, interesting and informative all at the same time. Her proposed age group target of 8-12 years seems appropriate.


Reviews:


  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (2 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747577463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747577461

2 thoughts on “Dale, Anna: Dawn Undercover (2005)”

  1. Damn you for trapping me with that Japanese cover!

    The katakana is translated as “supai chiisai onna don bakkaru”, literally “Spy Girl Dawn Buckle”.

    I must admit, I saw both the US cover and the Japanese cover and I must say I like the Japanese one better. Maybe it’s just the anime geek coming out but I didn’t really get much from the US cover.

    Like

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