“A GIRL NAMED DIGIT,” by Annabel Monaghan, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, June 5, 2012, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 12 and up)
All Farrah “Digit” Higgins wants to be is a normal girl at a normal school. Digit’s nickname was born out of her mad skills with numbers and patterns. At her last school, she was a geek, but in her new school all of that’s different — she’s popular and has friends. But Digit can’t help seeing patterns and that can have dangerous consequences.
When Digit cracks a terrorist group’s code, she finds herself in the middle of a James Bond-esque adventure. Soon, Digit is helping the FBI fake her own kidnapping and hiding out in a secure location. Digit is they key to solving the terrorist plot but only if she lives long enough to decode it.
“A Girl Named Digit” is a fast-moving (I read it in one sitting) adventure with a little bit of romance that’s clean, fun and addictive. In Digit, author Annabel Monaghan has created a smart, likeable character that’s relatable and interesting. The romantic elements between Digit and FBI agent John are less obtrusive than one might think, and though his story feels a bit on the fantastic side, all the elements work. Though the book comes to a cohesive and complete whole, there’s great material here for a follow-up. I would love to see how Annabel’s writing matures as she takes her characters on further adventures.