He won’t read it. He hates everything. #6
By David Teague, The Children’s Book Review
Published: November 13, 2012
H.I.V.E. The Higher Institute of Villainous Education
By Mark Walden
Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (May 22, 2007)
What to expect: Science Fiction, School, Friendship
If you took everything that was coolest about James Bond, got rid of the foolishness about girls and martinis that fifth grade boys have no patience for anyway, and then, in a stroke of genius, got rid of James Bond, too, leaving just the villains, back when they were about thirteen, when they were just getting started, then you’d have “H.I.V.E. The Higher Institute of Villainous Education.”
And you might have a series of books your reluctant reader will get excited about.
Like any great series, the H.I.V.E books feature a worthy hero, Otto Malpense, a brilliant orphan, none too concerned with rules, ready to take on any adult, fully confident he’ll triumph, and generally correct in his assessment of his own abilities.
Otto, after using his considerable gifts to build a robotic mind control device that he uses to make the Prime Minister of England implode, finds himself enrolled (not exactly voluntarily) at the Higher Institute of Villainous Education. And once he realizes he can’t leave, he begins plotting his escape, often coming close, never quite succeeding.
H.I.V.E, given its preparatory school premise, is often compared to the Harry Potter series, but Otto Malpense is edgier than Harry Potter, and in his world, technology replaces magic, upping the cool factor for discriminating boys.
The good news is, if the first installment is a hit around your house, the school lasts for six years, which means there are six books, and your reluctant reader has five more novels to enjoy.
Add this book to your collection: H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education
Want more suggestions like this? Check out the back issues of Books for Mikey: He won’t read it! He hates everything!
David Teague is the author of Franklin’s Big Dreams (Disney/Hyperion). He’s currently at work on his next picture book, Billy Hightower, forthcoming in 2013, and is collaborating with his wife, the novelist Marisa de los Santos, on a young adult novel, Margaret O’Malley. For more about David and his books, visit http://www.davidteague.net/ or https://www.facebook.com/FranklinDreams.