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Spy School (Spy School #1)

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,299 Ratings  ·  433 Reviews
Can a normal, average kid become a superstar secret agent? Maybe not, but it’ll be fun to watch him try!Ben Ripley may only be in middle school, but he’s already pegged his dream job: C.I.A. or bust. Unfortunately for him, his personality doesn’t exactly scream “secret agent.” In fact, Ben is so awkward, he can barely get to school and back without a mishap. Because of his ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 11, 2013 Jnase1 rated it liked it
I would have given it four stars had there not have been useless cussing in the book (one "damn" and three occurrences of "ass"). It's really too bad,too, 'cause it would be a great mystery/action/adventure book, otherwise. What young reader wouldn't love a good spy novel, especially when the main character is a young boy? Such a shame!
Apr 19, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing
This message will self destruct in approximately 30 seconds. Meet Ripley. Ben Ripley. He thought spy school was going to be all fancy clothes, exotic places, and crazy cool weapons. He was only sorta right. See, at 12 years old, Ben is a truly gifted mathematician. So, he knows that exactly 4,583 days after his twelfth birthday, secret agent Alexander Hale recruited him to the Academy of Espionage for the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA. He also knows that it is awfully suspicious to recrui ...more
May 10, 2013 Heather rated it liked it
The local librarian handed us this book (along with _Dead Guy Spy_) after she stubbornly argued that--just because of his gender--my son would not like _Harriet the Spy_. I still want to revisit Harriet, but I have to admit the librarian was right that this page-turner would be a better fit for my son. His reading level is a year ahead of his grade in school (just finished 2nd), so it's difficult to find reading material that's a challenge but avoids content above his maturity level. This book h ...more
Nicole Otting
Jan 12, 2016 Nicole Otting rated it really liked it
This book kept me interested the whole time. Ben Ripley is admitted into spy school and immediately encounters danger on his very first night. As a reader it makes you wonder who's behind all the mayhem and just when you think you know the answer, another twist comes up.

The only thing I didn't care for was the 5 or 6 cuss words throughout the story. Granted they are minor words and if this was simply for me, I wouldn't think anything of it but I will definitely have to notify the parents of my
Dec 19, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
Ben Ripley was a normal kid until he got transferred to St. Smithen's Science Academy for Boys and Girls -in the middle of the school year. It turns out, the science school is actually a spy school called the CIA Academy of Espionage. Shortly after he got in, he almost got assassinated in the middle of the night and the headmaster,as well as the CIA, figure out there is a mole in the school. It is up to Ben to find the mole before it is to late.

After I made it though first few chapters of "Spy
Jun 05, 2012 Tristan rated it it was amazing
Spy School 5/31/12
By Stuart Gibbs

Spy School, a Mystery/Action-Adventure book is about a kid named Ben Ripley, who is a nerd. He is sent to a school to be trained as a CIA agent. The problem is that Ben is horrible at being a spy.
But just when he thought he hated spy school, an assassin tries to kill
Now Ben tries to solve the case on his own. But there might be a bigger problem then an assassin, there might be a bomb under the school.
Be starts working with Erica, a fellow student.
Aug 30, 2014 Andrew rated it it was amazing
BEST BOOK EVER!!!! This book kept me entertained for about a day so it is somewhat short compared to maybe something like "Harry Potter". This book is great for young readers or at least it would be if not for the unnecessary cussing as it downgrades the over all kid factor of the book. But through the potty talk Stewart Gibbs has managed to write an amazing book. I can't wait for Spy Camp to be ordered by my library. Over all this book is a must read for any spy loving teen who can stand throug ...more
May 12, 2015 Michele rated it it was amazing
My cards on the table: Stuart Gibbs' Spy School is a lot of fun. It's a fun read and even though its target audience is children 8 to 12, there's enough there to interest adults.

Spy School is the story of Benjamin Ripley, a 12 year old boy who has a knack at math. He is visited by a secret agent who invites Ben to join the CIA Academy of Espionage. He excitedly accepts and his parents approve his attending an elite "science school" across the river in Washington DC. From the moment he enter the
Becky B
Ben Ripley is beyond thrilled when one day he arrives home from school to find a real, live, honest to goodness spy sitting in his living room waiting to whisk him off to spy school. Who wouldn't want to be excited when the US government shows up saying you are top spy material? The debonair agent Alexander Hale waits and feeds Ben's parents a story about Ben winning an elite scholarship to a science school and gains their approval to take Ben away. Ben is super excited, that is until about 2 mi ...more
Apr 14, 2015 QuocAnh rated it really liked it
Benjamin Ripley is a teenage boy with extraordinary math skills whose dream job is to be a top secret spy agent. When he is accepted into a “science school” which is actually just a cover for a super totally awesome spy academy, Ben is psyched about it. Until he meets the incompetent teachers, and the lousy school thats just like all the other low budget schools. Ben learns that being a spy isn’t just about having fancy clothes, crazy cool weapons, and going to exotic places. On the verge of qui ...more
This is an entertaining and acton-packed story about an unwitting new student to spy school. Unfortunately, I didn't finish it before I had to return it to the library, and then I had to wait three months before we were able to borrow it again. Certainly poor planning on my part, but I had no idea it was that popular.

Once I got it, I was able to finish the book in a day (and that includes rereading most of what I'd already read because it had been so long.) It's a fast read and a dramatic, actio
Nov 03, 2011 Diana rated it really liked it
review submitted to School Library Journal--
Ben Ripley, self described nerdy math genius, receives a mysterious summons to join the Spy School,a secret recruitment arm of the CIA. Since his life’s ambition is to become a spy, he is thrilled by the offer. But once at the school, Ben finds it to be a very different sort of place than any other. His introduction and initial assessment upon arrival involves ninjas, flying bullets, and Erica, the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. His first encoun
Apr 23, 2013 Lena rated it it was amazing
This book was interesting because my brother came home and he had this book. That night I just picked it up and started reading it! It was amazing my whole family loves to read we are readaholics. So for the next couple days Palmer and I kept stealing it from each other and reading when the other was away. We were done in a couple of days and we could not stop talking about it! We had both also read Belly Up which we both enjoyed also. Ben's story was awesome and I loved Erica. I liked how deep ...more
Nick Saluzzi
Sep 06, 2015 Nick Saluzzi rated it it was amazing
This book tells the story of Ben Ripley who always dreamed of being a secret agent. One day his wishes come true and he is enlisted in a school run by the CIA to generate future spies. Ben isn't your typical secret agent and certainly doesn't posses the skills of the other students, with the exception of his insane math skills. he constantly finds his way in and out of trouble throughout the book. This book has many twists and turns which makes it hard to tell what is true and what is false. Ove ...more
Jun 17, 2013 Ethan rated it liked it
I thought that this was an amazing book. Though it wasn't exactly the kind of book that I had expected. Spy School is more of a complete action and battle scenes book than a actual "spy" story. I assumed it would be about kids chasing a bad guy and then using some kind of computer program to expel them from the area. Instead the kids just attacked the "bad guy" and imprisoned them through sheer force. I also thought that there really wasn't any suspense because I knew the organization had high-t ...more
Eli Daniel
Oct 29, 2015 Eli Daniel rated it it was amazing
A great book about adventure and mystery and gonna read spy camp next.
carter Edwards
Oct 22, 2014 carter Edwards rated it it was amazing
I like this book because theirs a lot of action and fighting.
Aug 29, 2016 Sophia added it
Nicholas Teeple
Jun 14, 2016 Nicholas Teeple rated it it was amazing
In my opinion this book was great. I chose to read this book because of Gibbs' other intriguing books and I wasn't let down. The setting of the book was interesting and was really easy to relate to because of it being at a school. The school is a spy boarding school for elite kids who are chosen by the CIA. Another great aspect to this book was that it had an underdog plot. The main character, Ben, was selected to attend the school because they wanted to use him as bait to catch the enemy/mole. ...more
Mark Buxton
Apr 22, 2016 Mark Buxton rated it it was amazing
My name is Erica. The heritage of my family is spying, going all the way back to the Revolutionary War. I'm pretty good at it, unlike my "legendary" father. A new kid named Ben recently arrived at school, but the CIA made up a story saying he created a super code in order to trap our enemies. Now Ben is amazing with numbers, but that's where his talents end. However, he has helped me by uncovering information about a mole in our school and about a secret, super-big plot. I'm going to do my best ...more
T.K. Jones
Mar 06, 2016 T.K. Jones rated it really liked it
This would have been a 5-star rating and review except for the fact that I think the 4 or 5 swear words were gratuitous for a book aimed at tweens. I don't think they added anything to the book and I thought they were out of character.

That all being said, I liked this book. It flowed very well, and it introduced a character in Ben Ripley that is both likable and intelligent. I struggle with tween books that characterize the adult characters as either idiots or oppressors, but even though this bo
Teresa Scherping
Benjamin Ripley is shocked to come home after school and find a strange man in a suit waiting for him in his living room. The man is a CIA agent and has come to tell Ben that he's been accepted into the top-secret Academy of Espionage, a school that trains young people to be spies for the United States. Ben is incredulous that he's qualified to become a spy, but he's also super excited by the idea of being the next James Bond. Little does he know what lies ahead of him. Not only is he under atta ...more
Hannah Anderle
May 03, 2015 Hannah Anderle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Boys (age 10-12)
Recommended to Hannah by: Brother
Read this book because my little brother had purchased it and I was like, why not? Even though it's written for ages 8-12, it is still a fun read and had a lot more depth than I was expecting. It has elements of mystery, suspense, excitement, and humor--all wrapped up in one nice little book. It can be a bit cheesy at times, but again, it's not written for adults.

The main character, Ben Ripley, is accepted to the CIA's Academy of Espionage, or is he? He is clumsy, but has impressive math skills.
Garrett Morris
The book Spy School is an interesting book, especially for teenagers because it is narrated by a teenager going through the story mostly confused and horrible out classed. The narrator’s name is Ben Ripley who “applied” to spy school with him going onto the CIA’s website multiple times. In the book it is stated by one of the spies, “When you express interest in the CIA, the CIA becomes interested in you.” (4) With this saying it “proves” that the CIA watches people, at least, in the book to the ...more
Angus Manion
Jan 28, 2015 Angus Manion rated it it was amazing
I read spy school be Stuart Gibbs. Ben Ripley is recruited to join spy school which is a school that trains spies and ben ripley goes there and on his first night an assassin comes into his room to kill him but he hits him with a tennis racket and he leaves. Ben meets a girl named Erica who is a really good spy. Ben is brought in as bait to catch an enemy organization named SPYDER. There is a mole in the school and they try to catch the mole because they think that they have something to do with ...more
Dec 29, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Ben Ripley is at home, minding his own business, when he gets a visit from a man named Alexander Hale from the CIA. He tells Ben that he'll be going to spy school to hone his craft because of his promising skills. Ben can’t quite figure out how the CIA knows anything about him, but he knows he's exceptionally good with numbers, so he packs his bags and heads to his new school. Who wouldn’t be excited about attending a special school for the coolest of the cool? As soon as Ben gets there he finds ...more
Ms. Feigen's English 9 Classes Feigen
Sep 04, 2014 Ms. Feigen's English 9 Classes Feigen rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Thomas Hoong
September 3rd, 2014
Period 7th

“Spy School” is a fictional book written by Stuart Gibbs in 2012. Stuart himself claims that after watching his first James Bond movie at age seven, he could visualize himself as Jimmy Bond- the son of James Bond. Ever since then, he realized that the idea of a kid spy would be thrilling and hilarious. His intended audience ranged from ages 8 to 12 (mentioned on back of front cover). The 290 pages of text in the book seemed fairly short. Both me and my s
Molly Mejstrik
Nov 18, 2015 Molly Mejstrik rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 09, 2016 Ignatius rated it really liked it
Ben Ripley is a seventh grade mathematical genius who can compute ridiculously hard problems in his mind, and because of this talent he is an outcast among his peers. One January afternoon when Ben returns from a day at school he finds a stranger in a swanky suit who offers him a spot in an espionage academy for the CIA. In which he will be trained to become a CIA agent, but the world will think of him as an attendee to St.Smithens Science Academy for Boys and Girls. Ripley accepts and so begins ...more
Apr 08, 2016 Yapha rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Ben comes home from 7th grade one day to find a man dressed like James Bond in his living room. It seems that Ben has been recruited for a super secret spy training school run by the CIA. He can't tell anyone where he is going -- not his parents, not his best friend. They think he is going to a science boarding school. From the moment that Ben walks into his school it is not what he expected. First, everyone seems to think he has mad cryptography skills. Second, he keeps being attacked. While so ...more
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“that none of the locks on the toilet stalls in the common restroom worked.” 7 likes
“Welcome back, Ben,” Erica said. I started in surprise before realizing the voice was coming from inside my head. Alexander had slipped a two-way radio into my ear. There were lots of people out and about. The enemy had taken my cell phone, but I put my hand to my ear and pretended to be talking on one anyhow. No one gave me a second glance. Virtually everyone else was on a cell phone themselves. “Can you hear me?” I asked. “Loud and clear,” Erica replied. “Where are you?” “Still on campus, looking into things. But I need you to tail someone for me.” “Chip?” “No. I think he’s clean.” “What? But—” “I’ll explain later. Right now I need you to go after Tina. She’s the mole . . . and she’s on the move.” 3 likes
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