Milo Speck, Accidental Agent by Linda Urban
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 1, 2015
When magic came to Milo Speck, it came in the form of a sock. “Figures,” said Milo. Milo's adventures begin at home, where Milo who is rather small for his age, is charged by his nanny to find a missing sock. When Milo reaches into the dryer looking for a match, he finds himself being plucked through by a giant hand. In a flash, Milo finds himself in Ogregon, a place populated with hungry ogres whose favorite snack food is little boys. Not sure how to get back home, Milo manages to escape into the food pouch of the maintenance ogre and hopes that wherever he ends up, he won't be eaten. Things are definitely not as they seemed though and soon Milo finds himself caught up in an unexpected rescue mission that includes a bossy girl, dino-sized turkeys, and an evil Doctor who is making plans to bring even more snack-sized children to Ogregon. Milo Speck isn't an agent, but he knows he can't stand by and no nothing.
This is one of those fun light fantasies reminiscent of Roald Dahl's BFG (sans the friendly part) and Edward Eager, a fact that Urban is very open about in her author's note at the end of the book. Milo is smart and quick and the perfect foil to Tuck, the head of the agency and also a know-it-all brat. Tuck, by the way, has landed herself in a bit of trouble and is awaiting rescue. Milo isn't exactly what she was expecting, but he will do. What I love about Milo is that despite not being particularly talented or good at anything, he still ends up saving the day because he can't leave other people behind to get hurt. In other words, he is the true definition of a hero. Tuck's attitude did get a bit old and the plot wasn't entirely original, but with this kind of book the important thing is that it is fun and Milo Speck has that in spades.