Playing With Fire by Bruce Hale and GIVEAWAY!!!

19 Aug

School starts tomorrow! I WANT MORE SUMMER!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!


Well I guess I can get started on beating the all-time school district record for accelerated reading (set last year by me). Last year I smashed the old school record by getting 1503 points. This year my goal is to beat that! Check the widget on the side bar to see my progress!

On to today’s review!

playingwithfirePlaying With Fire
By Bruce Hale
320 pages – ages 9+
Published by Disney-Hyperion on June 25, 2013

Orphan Max Segredo was wrongly blamed for burning his foster parents’ house. He did NOT do it! But anyway, this little incident earns him the title of “Pyromaniac.” Thus, Max finds himself at the Merry Sunshine Orphanage as a last chance before landing in juvenile hall. Max soon finds out that this isn’t an ordinary orphanage – it teaches special skills – SPY skills!

At the spy school/orphanage, Max learns:

  • to pick locks,
  • break codes,
  • and do martial arts, among other things. Max also learns that
  • his dad is still alive (via coded message)

Soon Max finds himself on a dangerous mission trying to stop smugglers, and an evil group of spies while trying to find his dad!

This is a great book! I love spies (that’s on my list of ย what I want to be when I grow up) and this book was AWESOME!!! I REALLY really really want a sequel to this book (and seeing that it’s book 1, I expect a book 2!), and I can’t wait to read book 2 when it comes out! ย Max is a great character! I like how Max adapts very well to the situations in the school. I like Mr. Hale’s writing style – he adds just the right amount of humor, action, and sarcasm in this exciting book!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

And now, the moment most of you have been waiting for… The GIVEAWAY!!! You can get a chance to win “Playing with Fire” by just commenting and saying who your favorite spy is, whether real life or books/movies! My favorite is the spy from the movie “The Spy Next Door” (Jackie Chan). ๐Ÿ™‚ The giveaway runs until August 25th (I’ll post the winner on Monday the 26th). Good luck!

35 Responses to “Playing With Fire by Bruce Hale and GIVEAWAY!!!”

  1. Kirsten Larson August 19, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Erik, enjoy your first day of school. I have no doubt you will best your AR record from last year because you are THAT awesome. I am so happy to see you review this Bruce Hale book. “Snoring Beauty” is currently my four-year-old’s favorite book, and I was recently on his site looking at his other books. I have to admit, that despite all his character flaws, I still love James Bond. My favorite Bond is still Sean Connery.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks August 19, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

      “Snoring Beauty” sounds hilarious! I MUST check that one out! Thanks for your confidence in me, Ms. Larson! ๐Ÿ˜€


  2. Patricia Tilton August 19, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Your last day of freedom — use it well. Our school district started last Wednesday, two weeks earlier than usual. Hmmm, I won’t ask the question how competitive you are, even with yourself. The thing I do know is how much you love reading!

    Great review of Playing with Fire! This is packed with action and sounds fast-paced. I haven’t read Bruce Hale. As for favorite spy, Liam Neeson in Taken I and II. Also Like Nicole Kidman in The Interpreter.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks August 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

      We went to a “local” (45-60 minute drive, but that’s close where we are ๐Ÿ™‚ ) amusement park! Even though you didn’t ask the question, I will answer it – I am very competitive – especially since now one of my classmates wants to beat me this year! ๐Ÿ˜‰


  3. Angela Brown August 19, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    This book sounds like a fun and thrilling read.
    Do enjoy your last day of summer for all it’s worth and good luck breaking your own record ๐Ÿ™‚

    As for spies, I really like James Bond but there’s something just awesome about Ethan Hunt of Mission Impossible ๐Ÿ™‚


    • thiskidreviewsbooks August 19, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

      Thanks Ms. Brown! I haven’t seen/read Bond in action… yet. I want to. ๐Ÿ˜‰


  4. Genevieve Petrillo August 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    An orphanage that’s also a spy school. Hilarious. Mom’s favorite spy is Pink Panther. I’m not sure he’s really a spy, but I know he’s a cat, so he’s not my favorite anything!

    Love and licks,


  5. julie rowan zoch August 19, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Sorry school has come back at you so soon! Isn’t it always the same! Very glad to see you so excited about a book!


  6. Darlene August 20, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    Harriet the Spy is a favourite of mine. Sorry you have to go back to school so soon. The kids here have 2 more weeks until schoool starts on September 3. Good luck on the competition but I believe you will win hands down!


  7. KidLitReviews August 20, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    School so soon? That does sound horrible, but soon you will be in school mode and love it. My favorite spy would be Harriet the Spy. There are not many girl spies. Good luck on your reading challenge. With all the books you review, I’d say you have an advantage over the classmate who thinks he can best you. ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. Joanne Fritz August 20, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Hope you had fun on your last day of summer vacation. Bet you don’t really mind going to school — especially since you want to beat your own record. And a little competition from your friend makes it more fun, right?

    Great review of Playing With Fire. Sounds really exciting. My favorite spy is Harriet the Spy!


  9. clarbojahn August 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    HI Erik,

    I’ll have to check out that book! I just finished “Liar, Spies” by ?. can’t remember by who but it was a middle grade book I just loved. You’d like it I bet.

    Take care. Enjoy school tomorrow. School doesn’t start here till after labor day.


  10. clarbojahn August 20, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Oh I forgot to say who my spy is. James Bond is mine. Or Maxwell Smart in Get Smart.


  11. readingwithrhythm August 21, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    this one sounds pretty cool. I don’t read many spy books. I like those I Spy books where you have to look for things. I guess that would make me the spy? I’ll have to check out this spy orphanage/school. Thanks for sharing!


  12. bellatroxell August 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    My favorite spy is named Milligan, he is a spy in the book The Mysterious Benedict Society


  13. Michelle Isenhoff August 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

    I’m playing catch up again…

    AAACCHH! School already?? We start the day after Labor Day. I’m frantically trying to get most of my garden canned and frozen beforehand. And I have to finish some homeschool preparation. Have a great first week!


  14. Kathleen Taylor August 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Hi Erik,
    My favorite spy is also Get Smart. It’s pretty funny. Good luck on your incredible reading quest! A little competition for a good cause -I like that! Have a great school year!


  15. avcposeidon August 25, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    I liked the spies Georges and Safer from LIAR AND SPY by Rebecca Stead. They are just really quirky and awesome. Thanks for the giveaway!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks August 26, 2013 at 6:52 am #

      I need to read that book. It sounds interesting. I like the name Safer. ๐Ÿ™‚


  16. laurimeyers August 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    I hope the first week of school went well!



  1. Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds and Dan Santat and A GIVEAWAY!!! | This Kid Reviews Books - August 26, 2013

    […] Okay! The moment some of you have been waiting for – the WINNER of “Playing with Fire” by Bruce Hale (see my review HERE)! […]


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