Review / Kid Spy: Mac Cracks the Code

20210228ma_0334Book: Kid Spy: Mac Cracks the Code (2019)
Author: Mac Barnett
Genre: Lower MG, Espionnage

Basic plot: Mac is a kid spy who works for none other than the Queen of England. When the Queen tries to put Mac behind a desk, he decides to go rogue and set off on what seems like a wild goose chase around the world, only to end up facing his nemesis: KGB Man.


1) Mac Barnett has such a good sense of humour! This is a “mock” memoir of his days as a spy (when he was a kid, of course). And I especially love the fact that his boss is the Queen of England. There are some great interactions between Mac and her Majesty! (Including talk about underoos, i.e. underwear!)

2) I love the gag with the phones. Somehow, the Queen is always able to track Mac down, including that first time in the movie theatre. I love how she always asks for Mac, expecting her phone call to go through on the payphones around the world. (Since this is supposed to be 1989, there are no cell phones. But apparently, the Queen doesn’t let that stop her!)

3) The video game thread is definitely a fun hook. I enjoyed how Mac talks about Zak, the video game kid who has exactly three letters in his name, which is perfect for getting his full name when he scores during the video gaming competition! Funny how Mac does seem to realize or acknowledge that he has the same three-letter name advantage!

4) It’s fun how this kid just ends up going around the world, all by himself. Totally, unbelievable, but that’s part of the charm.

5) This was definitely a quick read. There are lots of illustrations, which is great for struggling readers. And fun for all readers!


1) Not a lot here. This book has a lot of tongue-in-cheek, not-true-to-real-life events. So, if you can’t handle that, this is not the book for you. I think most kids will eat this up!


This is apparently the fourth book in the series of Kid Spy books. I haven’t read the other books, but this book does reference them a bit. I must say that I enjoyed this one a lot and will be looking up the rest. If you liked Mac Barnett’s Brixton Brothers (which is a spoof on the Hardy Boys), then I think you will enjoy this series! (And this one has the Queen in it! Bonus.)


Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

16 thoughts on “Review / Kid Spy: Mac Cracks the Code

  1. I haven’t read this series yet and it sure sounds like a lot of fun. I’ll be tracking down copies to sneak in between some of the more serious titles on my TBR pile. Thanks for telling us about it on Marvelous Middle Grade Monday.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I never read fun books like this anymore, and I really should! I can imagine my younger self gobbling this one up. Thanks for the great review!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: My Top Reads… from 2021 | Of Maria Antonia

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