Like Ponti's new City Spies , this involves orphaned children who are approached by some sort of secret organization to work. It's essential to get parents out of the way so that middle grade characters can have adventures, and bringing the children together to combat villains is wish fulfillment at its finest.
Carter's I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You is one of my most favorite books! She has a real knack for putting her characters into improbably situations in ways that I absolutely believe. This will appeal to readers who enjoy Lemony Snicket or the similarly named Winterhouse. I love that the cover incorporates plaid uniforms similar to the ones on the cover of the Gallagher Girls books. (Which are still available in paperback.)