Max in the House of Spies: A Tale of World War II (Operation Kinderspion) (Hardcover)

Max in the House of Spies: A Tale of World War II (Operation Kinderspion) By Adam Gidwitz Cover Image
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March/April 2024 Kids Indie Next List

“A brilliant, touching, and powerful story, told by the incredibly gifted Adam Gidwitz. I rarely read a book that explains such complex subjects so approachably and eloquently, let alone in such an exciting, moving, and gripping tale!”
— Peter Glassman, Books of Wonder, NEW YORK, NY


An instant New York Times bestseller!

Max in the House of Spies is everything you could hope for in a book,” -R. J. Palacio, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wonder, White Bird, and Pony

“Espionage! Secrets! Suspense! If you’ve ever dreamed of being a spy, this book is for you.” -Alan Gratz, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Refugee and Projekt 1065

Max Bretzfeld doesn’t want to move to London.

Leaving home is hard and Max is alone for the first time in his life. But not for long. Max is surprised to discover that he’s been joined by two unexpected traveling companions, one on each shoulder, a kobold and a dybbuk named Berg and Stein.

Germany is becoming more and more dangerous for Jewish families, but Max is determined to find a way back home, and back to his parents. He has a plan to return to Berlin. It merely involves accomplishing the impossible: becoming a British spy.

The first book in a duology, Max in the House of Spies is a thought-provoking World War II story as only acclaimed storyteller Adam Gidwitz can tell it—fast-paced and hilarious, with a dash of magic and a lot of heart.

About the Author

Bestselling author Adam Gidwitz was a teacher for eight years. He told countless stories to his students, who then demanded he write his first book, A Tale Dark & Grimm. Adam has since written two companion novels, In a Glass Grimmly and The Grimm Conclusion. He is also the author of The Inquisitor’s Tale, which won the Newbery Honor, and The Unicorn Rescue Society series. Adam still tells creepy, funny fairy tales live to kids on his podcast Grimm, Grimmer, Grimmest—and at schools around the world. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, daughter, and dog, Lucy Goosey.

Praise For…

“The rise of Nazism is not usually a source of humor, but Adam Gidwitz manages to bring a droll sensibility to the topic without in any way minimizing what happened to Europe’s Jews in Max in the House of Spies, a cracking adventure story…. Readers will seethe with Max at the teasing, pine with him as he longs for home, and cheer as he trounces his adversaries to the point of being taken on by British espionage.″ —Wall Street Journal

“Absolutely everything a reader could want in a World War II spy novel.″ —School Library Journal, starred review

“Clever Max plays the long game with determination, and his agency is refreshing…. This heartfelt historical novel explores big questions of autonomy and allegiance with an admirable protagonist readers will respect and adore.” —Booklist, starred review

“Max’s training as a spy is described in riveting detail, with readers rooting for the determined boy even as we know the dangers awaiting him if he passes the test.” —The Horn Book, starred review

“Gidwitz imbues Max’s first-person voice with plentiful charm and intellect, making him an irresistible and irrepressible protagonist…. An exciting mixture of triumphs and perils, leading up to a cliffhanger ending that will have readers clamoring for the sequel.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Newbery Honor winner Adam Gidwitz uses historical events to build this inspiring and exciting tale of one boy′s determination in the face of extreme prejudice and violence.... The novel is never heavy or sorrowful; instead, Max in the House of Spies is filled with humor, hope, and tenacity.″ —Shelf Awareness, starred review

"Funny, fraught, magical… A thrilling tale, irresistible characters, and many hilarious moments sit atop a lot of dark history and ethical issues in Adam Gidwitz′s WWII tale of a radio-whiz Kindertransport kid in spy school.” –Common Sense Media, five stars

“A duology opener with a truly likable hero and clever puzzling. Max in the House of Spies—packed with sideways thinking, sociopolitical insights, and a Marmite-eating kangaroo named Kathy—delights.″ —Kirkus

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593112083
ISBN-10: 0593112083
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English
Series: Operation Kinderspion