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Dirk Daring, Secret Agent

208 pages
When eleven-year-old Darren Dirkowitz’s evil stepbrother (code name: Waldo) gets hold of Darren’s tippity-top-secret spy journal, he threatens to expose it to the entire Preston Middle School student body. Unless, that is, Darren starts doing his dirty work for him. Now Darren’s got to use the oh-so-cloak-and-daggery skills he’s honed in his secret alternate life as Dirk Daring, Secret Agent to spy on kids at school. Naturally, he also sets up a separate, sneaky surveillance program to unearth Waldo’s own secrets. As more and more ugly truths are exposed, new alliances are forged and old friendships broken. Can Darren learn to be true to himself and build real friendships for the first time in his life? Or will he retreat back into his exciting but imaginary shadow world?
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Copyright ©2014Helaine Becker
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Becker, Helaine, 1961, author  Dirk Daring, secret agent / Helaine Becker.
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459806832(pbk.).isbn 9781459806849 (pdf). isbn 9781459806856 (epub)
I. Title. ps8553.e295532d57 2014 jc813’.6 c20149015828c20149015836
First published in the United States,2014 Library of Congress Control Number:2014935380
Summary: The spy missions of Darren Dirkowitz (aka Dirk Daring, Secret Agent) are interrupted when his stepbrother gets hold of his topsecret notebook.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Design and illustrations by Jenn Playford Author photo by Karl Szasz
orca book publishers po Box 5626,Stn. B Victoria,bc CanadaV8R 6S4
orca book publishers po Box 468 Custer,wa usa 982400468
for wendy kitts
Preparatory Training Mission 56Case Report X34S1SD2 Deencrypted. DoOvers Are for Dead Men.
The alley was narrow—dark and narrow. It stank like rotted vegetables and cat pee, the signature reek of demoralization and despair. I flattened myself like a tortilla against the bricks.I had just one task now—to melt into the wall. To become the wall. I shifted my eyes. Left right, left right. There was nothing to see, nothing to fear. Not unless you counted the rats that squeaked behind the Nino’s Pizza dumpster. I was safe, so far. Time to plan my next move. Just one chance to get it right. In this business, there are no second chances.
Helaine Becker
The city’s shopping district seemed deserted. But nothing is as it seems in the shadow world. I knew the forces of darkness were on the move. Watching, waiting. And they were hunting for me. Dirk Daring, Secret Agent. Nevertheless, my stonecold heart never changed its rhythm. Thadump, thadump. Just five impossibly slow beats per minute. Letting adrenaline seethe into your blood leads to mistakes. Rookie mistakes. And mistakes are for corpses, not master spies like me. I darted around the corner onto Macpherson Street. Slipping from shadow to shadow, I covered the last few blocks without breaking a sweat. There it was, the safe house. 10 Harrow Lane. To the civilian eye, a perfectly ordinary house. But to me, a beacon of hope. A promise of safety.HQ. Had I been followed? No. I slipped around the building to the “kitchen.”I slid my key silently into the doorknob and placed my hand on the sensor pad—it was cunningly disguised as a plain green shingle. Only once my unique handprint was read and identified would my key be enabled. As I waited for clearance, I attuned my highly trained senses to the surroundings. I heard nothing
Dirk Daring, Secret Agent
but the wind whispering in the maple trees. The single woof!of a dog let out to do his business. And then I detected the scent of something hearty cooking on the safehouse stove. Searing meat. Melting cheese. A hint of onion… I heard theclickthat meant my clearance had been approved. Eagerly, I turned the key in the lock. “Darren?” my mom called. “That you?” “Yeah,” I shouted back. “I got the burger buns.” Mission accomplished.
Notes from Conversation with Civilian Code Name TBone.X3432ASXZC4 Deencrypted. 11/03. And So It Begins...
TRAVIS X. SENDAK (TBONE) Identif ying P hysical Features
Pickle-shaped mole above right eyebrow
Widow’s peak
Attached earlobes
Dirk Daring, Secret Agent
Known associates: _ Mrs. Wanda Sendak mother * _ Laura Sendak sister (8) * _ Conner Sendak brother (14) * _ Booger Maltese/Dalmatian mix * _ Frenzy teddy-bear hamster * _ Boo bear ratty old teddy bear * _ Miss Templeton grade 5 teacher * _ Lucinda Lee classmate * _ Henry Dubcek classmate * Strengths:Logical, loyal, honest, observant. Able to keep a secret. Can draw rockets. Superior kill ratio in Doomtime. Superior air-hockey skills. Can eat three chili cheese dogs from Bo Diddley in ten minutes or less without barfing. Weaknesses(for possible exploitation): An embarrassingN O T ! ! ! Do tendency to giggle in public. Still secretly sleeps with boo bear. Mortal fear of a) snakes and b) making a bowel movement in a public washroom. Preston Prestige Surfing, rockets, drawing comic Interests: Surfer strips about surfing and rockets (his popular Dude comic strip, Surfer Dude, appears in the weekly school newspaper, the Preston Prestige), racquet sports, chili cheese dogs.