red_school2 red_school1
Full Name: Red School
Nationality: American
Organization: Red School
Occupation Agency

Creator: Bryce Holt
Time Span: 2009 - 2010


The Red School is an American government assassination bureau.

It operates out of the heartland of the nation, literally the center of the country, Kansas where the idea of an orphanage for gifted children is looked upon as a noble, albeit boring, activity. The school has some but little contact with the local people and a large tract of land on which to operate. It is as invisible as could be possible by being so plain and unassuming. It has been so for a couple of decades.

A handful of instructors, several of them former graduates, and a small domestic crew live in the large school/orphanage along with the students. Every two years talent scouts tour the nation looking for promising five year-old orphans who might be in institutions or in foster care. They pick six from the thousands available and make special arrangements with the guardians. The children are brought to the school and given new names to help them feel like they are starting over. The makeup of these six is varied. Race and sex is of little importance. What is important is the prospect of the child learning the unique skills they will need later in life.

The lessons in the school are taught to the "recruits" in a friendly and non-threatening way but they are intense. Reading and writing comes first but is followed soon by branching into other languages besides English. By the time they reach seven, they know English, Spanish, German, and Russian and one other language chosen for each student. Each year brings new subjects to master from the common arithmetic and sciences to more unique ones like opening any lock or how to track someone over any terrain.

Small arms training comes as soon as the students can adequately hold a pistol. Rigorous exercise is coupled with hand-to-hand lessons. Explosives are eventually taught so by the time the children reach adolescence, they have been tutored in a wide range of methods to kill but also instructed into how and when to do it or to not do it. The purpose of the Red School is to turn out trained operatives for the government, not psychotic killers.

Though they live and learn in Kansas, they are exposed to far more than rural life. They make frequent fieldtrips to big cities and eventually to many other countries so they can see first hand what they are like and to become accustomed to other ways of life. Their language skills are honed as are their abilities to blend in with the locals. At eleven they go on their first mission, always a simple but necessary assignment that they will do together under the careful supervision of a soon-to-graduate older student. After that they will occasionally be taken off alone or in a pair on a "vacation" where they will take part in another mission. It might last a couple of days or a couple of weeks. When they come back, they are taught to never discuss the trip with anyone, even their best friends.

When they graduate, they are set up for the next stage of their lives but the "vacations" never stop. This is the life they will lead from then on.

The two-book (so far) series tells the story of one class from the time the Red School headmaster, named Jerrick, approached each foster family to collect the newcomers to their graduation and their first major missions. The natural leader of this group is Noel, a very intelligent and quick-minded boy who has an eidetic memory. Mary is a very pretty but quite shy girl that an older Noel will take a special interest in. Mohammed is an Egyptian boy that will be Noel's roommate for the next few years. Marcus and Kurt are the other two males in the class and highly athletic Leslie is another girl who rooms with Mary.

The first book takes the reader through the schooling years of this group from the time they were brought to Red School to when they were 18 and ready to depart. The second book follows their first couple of years after graduation, culminating in a major mission to take down a particularly nasty and dangerous killer.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2009
Last Appearance:2010

1 Red School Red School
Written by Bryce Holt
Copyright: 2009

A Washington politician eager for headlines leaks to a reporter eager for a scoop information on a highly secret school that trains children to be excellent government assassins.

2 Little Island Little Island
Written by Bryce Holt
Copyright: 2010

A class from the Red School has graduated and moved into the next phase of their lives and their missions. A terrorist who had escaped them when they were younger is back and about to cause a lot of trouble to the Big Apple unless they can stop him.


I started this series with considerable trepidation which vanished after the first chapter. My concern had been the implausibility of the whole idea and while my credulity never wavered, my caring about it went up in a puff of smoke. I ceased to care if the lessons they were taught made sense. It sounded good and was written in such an entertainingly matter-of-fact way that I went along with it. Heck, I devoured it.

Do I believe there is or could be a government agency like the Red School? Absolutely not. I say that because I really do not believe it possible and I want to make sure they believe I do not believe in them. It's bad enough to have to keep an eye on possible threats from the adults you pass on the street. To also have to worry about the angel-faced tween that smiles as he or she passes you is too much.

The writing style of the author is minimalistic. You seldom get immersed into the atmosphere and you never miss it. The feelings and thoughts of the class are seldom delved into very deeply, except for that of Noel, but again you really do not mind. At least I didn't. I just keep reading and kept enjoying myself.

I read these books for entertainment and got exactly that. I was entertained.


My Grade: B+

Your Average Grade:   A+


GoldenI A+ 11/16/2013 5:47:56 PM

Loved it! Hogwarts for Spies. Unlike the Potter books (the first one, anyway) the plot of Red School was as satisfying as the experience of getting to know the school, it's faculty and its students. The Mall Of America set piece was a hoot. And the book offered a great plot twist in the end. Very satisfying.

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