The reveal you’ve been waiting for: The title, cover and plot of Spy School 11

Lots and lots of people have been asking about this for the past few months.  So here you go:



In the eleventh book in the New York Times bestselling Spy School series, Ben Ripley goes on a rescue mission when one of his own is abducted from a remote Alaskan training facility.

Ben Ripley and his friends are training in Alaska when Cyrus Hale is kidnapped by his old Russian nemesis. Ben, Erica, and the others mount a rescue mission, but events quickly spiral out of control in a plot involving the secret history of US-Russian relations, a young KGB agent with skills to rival Erica’s—and lots and lots of bears.

Available everywhere October 3, 2023

Click here to pre-order it!

I am aware that there is not a whole lot of information in that synopsis.  The reason for that is, the more you know about a book before you read it, the less fun it will be to read.  I don’t want to ruin any surprises. So if you write to me and ask for more information about what happens, in this book, I’m not going to give it to you.  I’m just going to tell you to re-read this page again.

265 thoughts on “The reveal you’ve been waiting for: The title, cover and plot of Spy School 11

  1. – Stuart Gibbs

    Hello i am 10 and live in DC i love your books (my fav series) will joshua (my first name) hallal (not my last name) be in spy school 11 with better stuff

    P.S (X in roman numerals is 10 and book 10 it project X is that an accident)

  2. Julian –

    I do not just decide to visit a city. Cities (or schools) invite me to visit. I can’t come to Austin unless that happens. If you want me to visit your school, direct your school librarian to the School Visits page on this website.

  3. murrayisfat

    Please reread this post to see my policy on answering questions about what will happen in the book.

  4. ripleyiscool –

    Please reread this post to see my policy on answering questions about what will happen in the book.

    I am well aware that X is ten in Roman numerals. That was not an accident.

  5. -stuart gibbs
    are there going to be more books after “goes south”

    so i like to write short fiction books, Do you have any tips for me?

  6. ripleyiscool –

    Um… There are already several books after Goes South.

    I have a few tips for writing on my FAQ page, as well as on Mission: Write

  7. Do you think there will ever be a spy space school? I’ve read that blog post about why you cancelled MBA, but I think it could work for just one book.

  8. A person –

    No, the reasons I ended MBA are the reasons i wouldn’t do Spy Space School. There’s too many cool places still left to explore on earth.

  9. Can u bring a rich character like Orion into the books as like a main ish character?

  10. Memes r cool –

    I already have a lot of main characters so I think Orion ought to remain a supporting character.

  11. Can you up the relationship of Ben and Erica by a lot? I love the Siries of spy school but I always feel like there’s not enough romance to it.

  12. Caly –

    SS isn’t really a romance series, and since its intended for middle grade readers, I’m not really sure how to up the relationship and still have it be appropriate. I mean, Ben and Erica are a couple; what else would you like to see them doing?

  13. Hi Mr. Gibbs, I’m a huge fan of the Spy School series. However, I am a bit in the older range of your audience (I am in high school), and I was wondering: would you ever consider making a YA series to the likes of Spy School or some of your other series? Many of your original fans are now a bit older than the target audience for these books, but still love your writing and story telling (myself included). If so, would it be a whole new series, or perhaps a YA spin-off of Spy School or another series? Let me know. P.S. if not, I will still happily read the middle school aged Spy School series until I’m an old lady. 🙂

  14. A –

    I am not really planning to age up SS as I will lose my younger readers that way. (I know that JK Rowling was able to do this with Harry Potter but that was an unusual case.) Instead, I am hoping that my older readers continue to find the series enjoyable as they age. (I have heard from many people that this is the case.)

  15. Ok it’s still cool to get a response you taking time out of your day to give me a response is cool

  16. Oh well, it sounds like a cool concept though. Also, what’s your opinion on fan fiction? Like, the ones that don’t get too weird.

  17. Joe Mama –

    Dogs are not allowed at Spy School.
    Charlie Thorne is in no situation where she could get a dog.
    No dogs allowed on the moon.
    Teddy Fitzroy already has an entire zoo at his disposal.
    Tim has a dog. (Kind of.)

  18. Great! Two more questions, sorry if I’m wasting your time.
    1. In terms of writing, how much did you learn from school?
    2. Who came up with the idea for the covers retaining the same silhouette throughout every book? They’re pretty much the best covers I’ve ever seen.

  19. Hi Mr. Gibbs. im 11 years old and a big fan of your books. I just want to say that you are my favorite author and you are first on my author list. i can’t even express how much i love all of your series. my absolute favorites are charlie thorne, spy school, and funjungle. i just have one question for you-

    how did you get the names for Teddy Fitzroy, Summer McCracken, Ben Ripley, Erica Hale, and Charlie Thorne?

  20. A person –

    I learned a lot about writing from school, especially when I had teachers who were willing to let me write creatively.

    My cover designer, Lucy Cummins, came up with the idea to repeat the use of the Spy Guy silhouette. She’s brilliant.

  21. KS

    Teddy Fitzroy + Teddy Roosevelt (champion of the environment) + Robert FitzRoy, captain of the HMS Beagle, which took Darwin to the Galapagos (I considered using Darwin ad a last name but felt it didn’t work.)

    Summer McCracken: I knew someone named McCracken and loved the name. Summer just appealed to me.

    Ben Ripley = Benjamin Franklin (genius) + Ellen Ripley (action hero; ‘Aliens.’)

    Erica Hale = Am(Erica) + Nathan Hale

    Charlie Thorne: My daughter and her friends came up with the name at my request

  22. Hello Mr. Gibbs,

    I started reading your books (beginning with Spy School) when I was 9, after my brother suggested them. I quickly read every other series of yours as well, and began collecting the exclusive editions every time they came out. I was already a fan of reading but your books quickly became my favorites, and I had to fight my brother to see who got to read each new book first (He usually finished them in one sitting). My parents also enjoy them, and we read them aloud as a family for many years. They helped to inspire me to pursue creative writing, one of my many passions.

    Ten years later and I am now in college, studying music, another creative pursuit. I am still collecting every new book as they are released and am always delighted to pick up another installment in each series. Spy School has a special place in my heart, but I love each series so much it’s hard to pick a favorite.

    I’m currently reading Whale Done in between juggling college work and practicing and every time I pick it up I can’t help smiling.

    Thanks for the childhood (and ongoing) joy your writing brings!!

  23. Could you write about a SS mission in Africa or Asia? I noticed that most of your previous books take place in the Americas or Europe and it would be nice to have a mission somewhere else as not many people know too much about Asian/African culture or history ( Me being indian) Thank you

  24. Starbuck –

    Thanks so much for sharing this. It means a great deal to find out that readers are still enjoying my books as they get older. (I try to write them so that they will continue to be fun for older readers.)

    I wish you the best of luck in college and beyond!

  25. Book worm –

    I hope to expand the world of Spy School over the years to come. (And possibly the world of FunJungle too.) So far it has generally made sense, story-wise, for me to keep the SS team in the uS (with a few exceptions) but that could easily change as the series continues.

  26. I know you wrote that you weren’t planning on any good characters dying since these books are mainly written for kids but what about the occasional enemy agent or something?

    Just a suggestion…

  27. One last question: how are the covers and all the marketing for your books done? And also, how on earth do you find time to answer all these questions?

  28. A person –

    My art director, Lucy Cummins, handles the covers. (She also designs them.)

    There is an enormous marketing team at my publisher that handles the marketing. They do everything from arranging book tours to running ads to working with bookstores.

    And I answer questions whenever I have spare time.

  29. The book’s coming out a day after my birthday! That’s so cool! Stu, I love the FJ and SS series. Keep up the work!

  30. Hi Mr. Gibbs! I just wanted to ask if you would ever put any magic in SS, Funjungle, or Charlie Thorne. Also, will Dashiell ever meet Ben or Teddy? Thanks

  31. Dear Mr. Gibbs,
    I would like to suggest a title for the last SS book. I understand if you cannot use it.

  32. Agent A –

    I think that adding magic to any of my series now would be a big break from the established reality of those series.

    Since Dashiell lives in the future, it would be hard for him to meet Teddy or Ben.

  33. DashiellRooseveltRipley

    I write the titles of my books LAST, not first. So no matter how good your title is, there is almost no chance that I could use it.

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