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.

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

  1. Julian –

    Are you suggesting that I tell the first book over again from Erica’s perspective? I don’t feel like that would have much suspense.

  2. Berica –

    Since my books are intended for middle graders, there is not going to be any ‘action’ in them. If I did that, they would become YA and I would lose much of my intended audience.

  3. Mr. Gibbs,
    I’m one of you teen readers and I love your books and have been writing my own for a while. I want to ask a professional who actually knows what they’re talking about compared to my friends or my mom, (no offense mom), but how do you come up with your ideas and actually get them onto paper? I have ideas, but I can’t figure out how to word them correctly or actually make them sound how I want. Do they just pop up and you just write them down? Thank you so much again and I love your books!

  4. Nat –

    No, the ideas do not just pop up and then I wrote them down. It is very much the opposite. Coming up with the idea for a book can take YEARS of brainstorming. I spent a very long time thinking about a book before I start writing it. I jot down ideas on yelowpads. I do research. I outline. It is only when I have a very good idea of the the story that I want to tell that I begin writing.

  5. Is Murray going to be a big part of SS 11? without him the story doesn’t feel like it would be as good

  6. another question,
    Have you ever considered the possibility of a survey to judge the average age of your audience and if it has changed over time. An observational study of sorts. Could potentially an unanticipated result of this study influence the source material in future books judging on if it is an older audience who would prefer some more mature themes?

  7. idk –

    Please reread this post to see my comments on sharing information about what happens in the book.

  8. Faze Bigote –

    How often I check this thread depends on how busy I am.

    If I didn’t enjoy reading through people’s comments, then I wouldn’t allow them to leave comments.

  9. Faze Bigote –

    Even if the average age of my reading audience is slowly rising, there are still plenty of younger readers who like my books. So I am not going to include more mature themes because that wouldn’t be suitable for those readers.

  10. Hey Mr. Gibbs, just wanted to say I am in love with your Spy School series, it got me into reading and leaves me waiting each time a book is in development! I did have a few questions though.

    Someone already asked this, but I didn’t see your reply so I’m basically reposting it.

    Does a year in Spy School correlate with the real world? More specifically, how does the time in Spy School correlate with the real world?
    Also, I happened to find a signed copy of Spy School British Invasion at Half Price Books addressed to someone.
    Thanks if you read this 🙂

  11. Isma’il

    The idea behind Spy School (or FunJungle or Charlie Thorne) is that it should feel current at all times. So if you’re reading it now, it should feel like it could be taking place right now. The series does not correspond to a specific year.

  12. Isma’il –

    I think Mr. Gibbs’ books work like comic books. Such as the Fantastic Four. Even though it’s been over 50 years since that comic series started it’s only passed 13 years in universe. The first comic came out in 1969 I believe but the most recent issues aren’t taking place in 1982. They take place in 2023. So basically it takes place whenever its published. Fantastic Four #1 does take place in the year it was made but in universe it chronologically takes place in 2010 (approximately).

    Hopefully this explanation helps you and hopefully I wasn’t wrong LOL.

    God Bless. Have a wonderful day (to anyone reading this).

  13. So excited.
    I have a signed copy addressed to me, it is my favorite book I own.

  14. Mr. Gibbs
    I have written a book of my own and would like to try and publish it. Is it possible for a 13 year old to publish a book, and if so, how can you do it?

  15. Flaming Phoenix –

    It is not easy for a thirteen year old to publish a book– although there is no rule that says it can’t be done.

    To sell a book to a publisher, you need an agent. Agents are listed in The Literary Marketplace, which is available on-line (or possibly free at your local library.) All agents actively looking for clients will be listed there, along with what they specialize in and how to get in touch with them.

  16. Ben rip lillis

    I try to have a variety of ethnicities represented in my books. My main characters in both the Moon Base Alpha series and Charlie Thorne are multi-ethnic.

    Are you writing this question is response to the webpage header showing the characters from Spy School? I am doing my best to have a diverse range of characters in the books.

  17. Mr. Gibbs
    Are the Funjungle, Spy School, and Charlie Thorne universes connected? I know in Spy School At Sea Ben gets a t-shirt from Snakes Alive which is from Funjungle and if they are connected will there ever be a crossover?
    Sincerely, Alex Zuo

  18. Was just re-reading the whole series. Really love how you managed to consistently develop the characters throughout all ten books.

    Can’t wait for SSGN + see what developments occur.

  19. Mr. Gibbs
    I am a HUGE fan of your series, and I was wondering if you will continue making books. Do you know when and/or how the series will end? Will you introduce a new arch nemesis of Ben? What inspires you? And finally, how do you get ideas for all the cool gadgets and devices in the books?
    Thank you!

  20. Alex Zuo –

    The universes might be connected — or maybe there are just similar items in multiple universes.

    I am not planning a crossover at this time.

  21. F & M –

    Yes, I intend to continue making books. (You can see my upcoming releases on every page of this website.)

    Whether or not I have a definitive end for the series — or what will happen in future books — is classified.

    Honestly, I would argue that there aren’t really that many cool devices in the books. No one has one of those James Bond watches that can do ten different things. Instead, my characters generally use things that all of us have access to, like cell phones.

  22. Mr. Gibbs

    I love your books! I’ve read very series besides Once Upon A Tim. I even lent most of them to my best friends because they love them too! I was wondering, how do you come up with the plot? Do you write events as you go, or do you have it mostly planned out before you start writing?

  23. Booknerd –

    I spend months brainstorming a book before i start writing it. I come up with the plot and outline everything in detail. I absolutely do not make everything up as I go.

  24. You’re my favorite author!! Do you have ideas for SS13? I have a few like having a kidnap case where Erica is kidnapped and Ben saves her. Something else is that
    Barnabus Sidebottom (the principal of the spy school) turns evil and is actually changing information in the CIA database. Please answer back I have lots of other ideas for coming books!

    Ps: Try not to make the books repetitive like the first books in the series where it was all about SPYDER and their attacks on the CIA academy of espionage.

  25. Bookworm –

    Yes, I have ideas for SS13. It is really difficult for me to accept ideas from readers because I have thought so far ahead in the series.

    Also, by my count, there was only one book about SPYDER attacking the Academy of Espionage. I really thought I wasn’t making my books repetitive, but I guess I was wrong.

  26. Dear






  27. The Darkness

    It is hard to imagine anyone choosing to become an author if they do not enjoy writing. It is not easy to become an author and it involves a great deal of work. If someone didn’t enjoy doing that work, I would imagine that they would choose a different career.

  28. Dear Mr. Gibbs,

    This is a question about Spy School Secret Service, if you have an answer, what is the name of President David Sterns wife?

  29. Spyschoolguy –

    If I don’t say the name in the book, then I don’t know what the name is.

  30. Spyschoolguy –

    Probably Charles if I had to guess because there are more then 272 pages in the book you are referring to. (this was sarcasm to be clear)

  31. Since what book did Erica have a crush on Ben. In spy ski school Erica kisses Ben was that a crush or was it really truthfully to calm him down

  32. X –

    I would think that, if someone kisses someone, it means they like that person, even if they say it was just to calm them down.

  33. Dear Mr. Stuart Gibbs,

    I really enjoy your books and they truly bring me to a fantasy world and take my breath away. Therefore I would like to ask a question to a very successful and respected author.

    Has there ever been a time, maybe when you were writing your very first book, when someone told you that you could never do it, that it would never happen, and that the chances of you becoming a famous author as a career was close to nothing? And, if you have, how have you dealt with it? How did you push your way through those tough times?

    I’ve been pursuing a dream of mine ever since I was four years old, but none of my family wants me to follow it. None of them support me and I don’t know what to do or what to think anymore. I want to keep fighting for it, but I don’t want to waste my life chasing something that might never happen.

    What should I do? Thank you so much for your time and understanding. 🙂

  34. Sofie –

    First of all, thanks for your kind words. Secondly, I am sorry to hear that your family is not supporting you in your dream.

    I also started trying to write books when i was very young. I submitted my first book to a publisher when I was in first grade — with the help of my teacher. It was rejected, which was really awful, but I can understand today why it happened: at that young age, I wasn’t that good a writer yet.

    I had many more rejections over the years, but I soldiered on — and so did just about any famous author you can think of. Just about all of us were rejected at least once, and many of us were rejected many times. (I have heard that Dr Seuss was rejected 120 times before his first book got published.) If all those people had quit after their first rejection, then there would not be very many books.

    If this is your dream, you need to stick with it. Perhaps your family will change their minds when they see how important this is to you. And I’m sure that you probably have teachers or school librarians who can help you as well.

    Just be aware that it is very unlikely for a writer to get published at a young age. Even if you get rejected though, that doesn’t mean the book you wrote was a waste of time. Every draft you write is practice, and practice makes you better.

  35. Bro honestlly you gotta end the series the more books you make the more watered down they get

  36. Just i dunno i mean im a fan its just you gotta end the series eventually so if i where you id quit while i wa ahead

  37. Mister Mysteri-o

    Since far more people request that I continue the series than end it, I’m going to continue it — as long as I have ideas that I feel keep it fresh and exciting. You are under no obligation to keep reading it if you don’t want to.

    But since you feel it’s okay to give me advice, I’ll give you some in return: Learn how to punctuate. And proofread.

  38. Stuart Gibbs

    Do your children get to read your books before they com out? If so how long before they come out? And do they get to help you write the book?

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