American Spy

Marie’s bully finds her at the local pool and shoves her under the water, holding her down until Marie’s sister finds the bully.

After that day at the pool, something strange happens—her sister befriends the bully. They have sleepovers together, they wander the streets of Queens. Until one day when her sister beats up the bully, seemingly for no reason at all.

“What happened? What did she do?” Marie says.

“Nothing recently,” her sister replies. “She tried to drown you though.”

Marie says she thought they had become friends, which her sister finds amusing. “No, I was practicing something. Spies have to get close to people, then turn on them.”

This is American Spy, Lauren Wilkinson's debut novel.

In 1986, Marie Mitchell is all grown up, a young black intelligence officer who isn’t getting promoted by the mediocre white men at the FBI. She ends up on a mission she might not have accepted in different circumstances—a mission to Africa, a mission that relies on her ability to be attractive for a man, to seduce a man, a man who is the Communist president of Burkina Faso.

Marie’s sister is dead, and someone is after Marie. She writes down her story while she can, so her sons will know, if anything happens to her, who their mother was and who she wanted to be. They will know what happened.

Also, there’s a dog named Poochini, so I mean, what are you going to do, not enjoy this book? PLEASE READ

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson, from Random House'