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Orphan Monster Spy

(Orphan Monster Spy #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  5,403 ratings  ·  967 reviews
Her name is Sarah. She's blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish in 1939 Germany. And her act of resistance is about to change the world.

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
Kindle Edition, 430 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Grace Anne hi! german is my native tongue and i personally didn't like the phrase. not because it's inappropriate, but because for me, it sounded incredibly stup…morehi! german is my native tongue and i personally didn't like the phrase. not because it's inappropriate, but because for me, it sounded incredibly stupid. it's like one of those things that just don't sound right. i think that "dumme Kuh" or something along those lines (translates to stupid cow, as you've already mentioned) would've sounded a lot better. :)
(also don't get me wrong, i absolutely adored the book<3)(less)
Meg There is an author's note at the back that explains the historical basis for the setting of the story and certain elements, like using teenage girls a…moreThere is an author's note at the back that explains the historical basis for the setting of the story and certain elements, like using teenage girls as spies, the brutality of the Nazi boarding school, growing up Jewish and the harassment from the supposedly "superior" race. My own knowledge of WWII events is sketchy at best but I found that this book does well keeping that atmosphere and history in pace with the fiction of Sarah's life, especially when the narrative jumps back in time in Sarah's memories of the discrimination and violence and poverty that her life (and the lives of other Jewish people) was reduced to, especially after the Kristallnacht 'Night of Broken Glass'.
If anyone has more knowledge than me on the subject and feels differently please comment, because like I said my knowledge of the actual events is sketchy.
Either way I honestly loved this book and would recommend you read it :)(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,403 ratings  ·  967 reviews

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Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: publisher, reviewed
I was completely immersed in this story of a 15 year old Jewish girl who agrees to become a spy in the battle to defeat Hitler. I may be suffering burn out from reading too many books set in this time period, but this was a new World War II plot for me. The book begins with the murder of Sarah's mother at a checkpoint. Orphaned, terrified and with no identity papers, Sarah starts to run. She encounters a man with an unidentifiable accent and the two manage to rescue each other. She comes to know ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
My casting:

Sarah and the Captain:
(the girl on the cover reminded me of her right away)

Nothing negative to say about this one :) Suspenseful,creepy, sometimes disturbing... loved it! :)

Impulse buy from Books-a-Million. The cover drew me in and after reading the first few pages, I was sold. After finishing my last current read, I ignored all my others and laser-focused on this one.

This one was on my mind at work every time I had to leave the breakroom and go back to work (Adulting sucks haha). I
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an emotional and heart-pounding story!
Elizabeth La Lettrice
This was intense and I loved every section of it. You thought the girls in your high school were mean? Think again. This was an interesting fictional perspective on the horrors of Nazism from a Jewish girl who "passes" and infiltrates a community of Nazi elites.

Disclaimer: A few scenes were a bit cringeworthy violent (which I love, in an admittedly sick way) but just a warning for anyone who may be a bit sensitive and/or if considering for a younger teen. (I'm not about censorship but I underst
Katherine Locke
While the style of writing and the narration isn't typically my jam, I am thoroughly impressed with the depth of research, worldbuilding, and sensitivity toward the portrayal of a Jewish girl in Nazi Germany. This is the opposite of The Girl Who Wouldn't Die, which I found to be an antisemitic hot mess of a book last year, and I am so very thrilled to see a Jewish girl who is the hero of her own story, who was violent and imperfect and fierce, who had a label thrust upon her and used her ability ...more
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 Words: War, power, monster, school, violence.

Read my Q&A with Matt Killeen

Content warnings: graphic violence, child abuse, antisemitism.

Sarah is FIERCE.

This book is incredibly fast paced. It starts off at a run and doesn't let up. It's brutal and violent and at times almost a bit much, but it is so realistic and engaging a portray that I could not put it down. The story is addictive and this book packs a punch.

The narrative isn't linear, it jumps around a little between different times in Sara
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Update: 6/19/18
I'm giving this a full 5 stars because I loved the book so much that I don't even remember nor care about what I took a 0.5 off. I still keep thinking about it and I want to read it again, and so you see, I'm still in a book hangover a full month later. That's how powerful this is.


Original review


This was a very remarkable story! I absolutely love historical fiction and this might be one of my top ones! There was lots of pace and action, the dialogue was realistic, the whole s
In most cases when it’s YA, I can forgive a multitude of sins: Orphan Monster Spy is at once bloody silly and frustratingly entertaining. Let’s just say that bloody silly is the angle I’ll take.

Not quite implausible I suppose, the entire premise is flimsy at best. A German Jewish orphan is recruited by a British agent/spy (agent of what, exactly?) on a complete whim, admitted into a high-ranking Nazi boarding school with a story that doesn’t add up, and tasked with befriending the daughter of an
This is a Young Adult Historical Fiction, and this is the first book in the Orphan Monster Spy series. I have to say I really loved the beginning, but then it got really boring. By the end of the book I was just happy for it to be over. (*)
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It's out of my comfort zone of fantasy and science fiction being a historical fiction but it's bloody good. Some parts were hard to read (subject matter not anything bad on the writers part) but it was compelling. I loved Sarah so much and am actually really looking forward to her next mission. Highly recommend 4 and a half stars. ...more
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Didn't love the writing, I thought it brushed over every possible life-threatening subject matter and didn't really take anything seriously. I disliked the characters and the plot was unbelievable, it was hard for me to finish this one. ...more
Farhina ↯↯ The Wanderer Of Inked Adventures
"Would the future Germany have any evidence of its crimes? Would it smell bad and would people even know why?"

This book is a World War II novel. The main protagonist is Sarah, who is a Jew with an Aryan appearance. After her mother get killed abandoned and alone she meets a man who turns out it be a spy. She is recruited by him to to be a spy and go inside and infiltrated a Nazi boarding school.

Sarah was an incredibly strong character. She kept all her suffering and violence she has witnesse
L. McCoy
Mixed thoughts here for sure.
So it had potential... the story is fairly interesting and I cared about the characters. However, you’d think a story about espionage in WW2 would be way more exciting and while there are some intense parts... I forgot it’s YA so it mostly focuses on things like school, arguing with adults, main character socializing with other young girls, etc. Also didn’t care for the some of the dialogue.
If you do decide to read this I would suggest not going wit
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant! Read it so quick cause i just needed to know what happened. I'm intrigued to know what will happen in the next book! ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were moments while reading this book that I hated it but I couldn’t stop listening to it (read it on audiobook). As any narrative relating to the holocaust and being a Jewish family during the eve of WW2 there are moments that are very descriptive and sad . The story centers on a 15 year old Jewish girl who loses her mother and wants to get out of Austria before the Nazis get to her , meanwhile she runs into a British spy who is in trouble of getting caught. They help each other and sudden ...more
Robin Stevens
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. It's fierce, spirited and exciting - and it combines two of my favourite things, early 20th century history and boarding school books. Sarah is a brilliant main character, and the situation the book puts her in (infiltrating a Nazi boarding school as a Jewish girl) is incredibly tense. There are some frightening and violent parts to this book, obviously, so it's one for older readers, but anyone 14+ who likes historical thrillers will really enjoy this.

*Please note
Stephanie ((Strazzybooks))

3.5/5 I liked the clever and badass main character, Sarah, and I typically love reading WWII historical fiction. However, while this book did have some exciting moments, I mostly found myself slogging through it and putting it down for long periods of time. It was not a bad book by any means and I suggest this for anyone who liked Codename Verity or Between Shades of Gray.
Oct 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was so pumped up for this book. I thought the idea behind the book was genius. I mean spies, private school, nazis; how can you go wrong with that? I just found the book to be boring and one note. Nothing excited me. I wanted some spy action and this book just didn’t give me any.
Cynthia Cat  Garnder
This book is very interesting.
the story is absolutly engaging.
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books, historical
Fifteen-year old Sarah becomes an orphan when her mother is shot to death at a checkpoint, trying to escape Germany. While Jewish by birth, Sarah is blonde and can pass as Aryan. She is brave and quite an actress, saving the life of an English spy. To exact revenge, Sarah agrees to be placed in a Nazi boarding school to infiltrate the fortress home of a scientist close to developing a nuclear bomb for the Third Reich. The school is horrific, and Sarah has to overcome abuse from teachers and stud ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She was an Orphan and because of that she was disposable. She went through nazi school as a jew which turned her into a monster making her the perfect spy.

It was beautifully wicked.
Trigger warnings: war, antisemitism, parent with addiction issues, gun violence, child abuse, vomit, (view spoiler)

3.5 stars.

I sped through this but I can't honestly decide if I liked it or not. It was definitely a compelling story, and I did like the characters and the slightly antagonistic relationship between Sarah and the Captain. But this was so dark so much of the time that I honestly don't know
Bill Lynas
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Matt Killeen's debut novel introduces us to Sarah Goldstein, a 15 year old Jewish girl, who may turn out to be the new heroine of YA fiction. She's intelligent, athletic, multilingual & able to think on her feet in a crisis. She'll need all these attributes when she becomes a spy against the Nazis, working for a British agent, in this fast paced World War 2 thriller.
Killeen crams in plenty of great story ideas into this terrific novel that will appeal to young & old readers alike. In his notes
Melanie (TBR and Beyond)
Really interesting and different book. Loved it.

Triggers: Sexual assault, child abuse

This was a really good wwii historical fiction! It wasn’t my all time favorite historical fiction but I did relate to Sarah in some ways such as being the same age as her.
I do hope that there is another book so fingers crossed 🤞
Hanna  (lapetiteboleyn)
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Compulsively readable, well plotted with a wonderful heroine and an even stronger supporting cast. Can't wait to read the sequel! ...more
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another version of this review can be found @ The Regal Critiques.

Received in exchange for an honest review from Usborne Publishing UK.

Set during the outbreak of the World War Two, Orphan Monster Spy follows the story of Sarah, a German Jewish orphan who loses everything one fateful night and then falls into the company of a British agent. Said agent picks up on Sarah's skills (her Aryan appearance helps) and decides to send her to an exclusive girl's boarding school in 1939 Nazi Germany in orde
Katie B
It's 1939, and Sarah, a fifteen year old, blonde-haired, blue eyed Jewish girl, is just trying to survive. After her mother is killed, Sarah meets a mysterious man who she learns is part of a secret resistance against the Third Reich. She teams up with the man and is sent to live at a boarding school with the daughters of top Nazi leaders. The plan is to befriend the daughter of a scientist who is working on a bomb and steal the blueprints before his creation could destroy the lives of countless ...more
Lauren (runningonwords)
Happy book birthday, "Orphan Monster Spy"!

Thank you to Penguin Random House LLC for an advanced copy of this book!

Sarah, abandoned at a checkpoint in Nazi Germany because her mother was shot and killed (a really thrilling first chapter, I must say), finds refuge with a man she soon refers to as Captain (ORPHAN). In his company, she is able to channel her survival skills in order to help prevent a bomb from destroying most of Europe (SPY). During her mission, however, she is presented with multip
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this! Flew through it, haven’t been that engrossed in a book for a long time. Definitely recommend, a fabulous way to start off my YALC 2018 challenge!
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MATT KILLEEN was born in Birmingham, in the UK, back when trousers were wide and everything was brown. Early instruction in his craft included being told that a drawing of a Cylon exploding isn't writing and copying out your mother's payslip isn't an essay "about my family". Several alternative careers beckoned, some involving laser guns and guitars, before he finally returned to words and attempt ...more

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“A few short years ago, the Nazi Party was some angry men in one beer hall. Germany had no army, wasn't allowed an army. Don't underestimate them. That's been everyone's mistake.” 5 likes
“Oh, he's got more friends there than here. America's chock-full of Nazis. If anything, they're more rabid than they are here, more... insidious, because they're all pretending otherwise.” 3 likes
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