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The League of Unexceptional Children

by Gitty Daneshvari

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Slightly humorous to have children with no talent being the heroes who help find the buyer and save the day. Shelley is quite entertaining with the ridiculous way she mangles common idioms to make more sense eg. a beetle in a haystack.
Johnathan is more convincing in his blandness. The problem they were solving was a bit over the top but I persevered and liked the change which came with the ending and made it more believable. Don't know if I'd buy book two. ( )
  JRlibrary | Dec 18, 2016 |
The League of Unexceptional Children by Gitty Daneshvari is published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. I gave it two stars. I wanted to like it. I tried to like it. I just didn't. I had to force myself to finish reading it.

Two unexceptional children are conscripted by the government to save the country. They are easily forgettable.

I received a complimentary kindle copy from NetGalley. That did not change my opinion for this review. ( )
  carolyninjoy | May 18, 2016 |
This review is available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

This is a pretty cool idea, isn't it? I love how it mixes the usual "kid secret agent" theme with a message about how the ordinary kids can be special too, and turns it into a fun romp with a secret agenda of its own: to give "average" kids the confidence boost that comes with seeing the fun potential of something they might otherwise see as something to be ashamed of. It reminds me of Rick Riordan's books in a way, except instead of taking ADHD and dyslexia and turning them into superpowers (signs that you're a demigod), Daneshvari takes averageness and turns it into a spy skill. I mean, how cool is that?

I can't say this is exactly my sort of book (I don't, as a rule, go out of my way to read books about middle-school spies), but this one was almost literally dropped into my lap - to be more accurate, it was out on a table at KidLitCon - and I couldn't pass up the opportunity when it was sitting right there under my nose. I'm glad I picked it up, and I'll be even more happy to pass it on to one of my siblings who is actually part of the target audience. I enjoyed The League of Unexceptional Children well enough, but it really smacked of being written for someone who was - well, not me.

It's meant for a middle-grade-aged kid who feels overlooked and abandoned. It's meant to encourage kids who are just "average," meant to take their situation to ridiculous extremes (these kids can go anywhere! Do anything! Never be remembered!) and turn it into something to be proud of. I'm neither a middle-schooler nor an average kid (as a homeschooled high schooler who skipped a grade, it's hard for me to not stick out in a group). That's why I have a hard time critiquing The League of Unexceptional Children: though it definitely did feel flat in parts, I very much suspect that's more because of me than because of the book itself.

It's definitely a cute book. The best book I've ever read? No. But I think kids will still love it - especially kids who think of themselves as being "unexceptional."

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC of this book at KidLitCon. ( )
  Jaina_Rose | Mar 1, 2016 |
Shelley was literally so irritating she ruined the book for me. I think the last time a character annoyed me this much it was the Wimpy Kid main character. I so wanted to like this series but there was no character development and Jonathan and Shelley were just caricatures of boring kids. There wasn't really enough adventure to keep interesting without the character development and the format was not nearly as neat as I wanted it to be.
( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Shelley was literally so irritating she ruined the book for me. I think the last time a character annoyed me this much it was the Wimpy Kid main character. I so wanted to like this series but there was no character development and Jonathan and Shelley were just caricatures of boring kids. There wasn't really enough adventure to keep interesting without the character development and the format was not nearly as neat as I wanted it to be.
( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316405701, Hardcover)

Are you average? Normal? Forgettable? If so, the League of Unexceptional Children is for you! This first book in a hilarious new adventure series is for anyone who's struggled to be noticed in a sea of above-average overachievers.

What is the League of Unexceptional Children? I'm glad you asked. You didn't ask? Well, you would have eventually and I hate to waste time. The League of Unexceptional Children is a covert network that uses the nation's most average, normal, and utterly unexceptional children as spies. Why the average kids? Why not the brainiacs? Or the beauty queens? Or the jocks? It's simple: People remember them. But not the unexceptionals. They are the forgotten ones. Until now!

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:29:56 -0400)

Evanston, Virginia, twelve-year-olds Jonathan Murray and Shelley Brown are completely average and forgettable until they are recruited to help the League of Unexceptional Children save the Vice President of the United States, who has been kidnapped along with an important code.… (more)

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