The Recruit (novel)

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The Recruit
Recruit cover big.jpg
UK First edition cover
Author Robert Muchamore
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Children's, Thriller, Spy novel
Publisher Hodder Children's Books (UK) Simon Pulse (USA)
Publication date
30 April 2004
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 342
ISBN ISBN 0-340-88153-4 (first edition, paperback)
OCLC 61439287
Followed by Class A

The Recruit is the first novel in the CHERUB series, written by Robert Muchamore. It introduces most of the main characters, such as James Adams (James Choke), Lauren Adams (Lauren Onions), Kyle Blueman and Kerry Chang. The book was originally to be called CHERUB 1.0.[1]


James' First Mission
Mission controller(s) Ewart Asker
Agent(s) James Adams
Amy Collins
Location Fort Harmony, Wales
Target Help Earth
Crime Eco-terrorism
Result Green tickY Success
Promotions James Adams:         

The book begins with James Choke being sent to a children's care home called Nebraska house, when his mother dies from an alcohol-related incident, where he shares a room with Kyle Blueman, a CHERUB agent who recruits him. Meanwhile James' sister Lauren is taken to live with her father Ron Onions who is very abusive. James gets arrested for stealing beer and the next morning he awakes to find himself on the CHERUB campus where the chairman, Dr Terrence 'Mac' McAfferty introduces him to CHERUB and puts him through a series of entrance tests which he passes. James is admitted into CHERUB. In order to start going on missions all agents must complete a 100 day Basic Training. Before this, however, he must learn to swim as he has a fear of swimming. He is taught by Amy Collins, a sixteen-year-old CHERUB. During this James meets Kerry Chang, with whom he has a strong friendship.

Major characters[edit]

  • James Adams/Choke: The main character, a twelve-year-old boy whose mother dies from an alcohol overdose. He meets Kyle Blueman at Nebraska house, a children's home. He joins CHERUB and changes his name from Choke to Adams. Later he embarks on a mission to overthrow an eco-terrorist plot.
  • Kerry Chang: Kerry is James's basic training partner. She is one of James's closest friends and has a severe knee injury, which prevented her from completing basic training in the past.
  • Amy Collins: She teaches James to swim and joined him on the mission to infiltrate the Eco terrorist group known as 'Help Earth'.
  • Bruce Norris: Bruce is a master martial artist, but is revealed to behave like a baby. He is one of James' best friends.
  • Kyle Blueman: Kyle is James' best friend. He is the first person James knows at Cherub because of the fact that James shared a bedroom with Kyle at Nebraska house. Kyle is two years older than James' and meets his first girlfriend in the process.

Development and publication[edit]

Development for both The Recruit and the CHERUB series as a whole began in 1999 when Muchamore was visiting his sister in Australia and found his twelve-year-old nephew complaining about the lack of any good reading material.[1] In 2001, Muchamore began working on an unnamed novel, KN1 (Kids novel 1). This was more violent with James slashing Samantha's face open with broken glass.[1] Robert Muchamore did not approach a Literary agent until Autumn 2002. By this time the novel was called CHERUB 1.0. He was rejected by the first agent but taken on by the second. Many different publishing companies disliked the novel and rejected Muchamore once again. It was in March 2003 that Hodder Children's Books purchased CHERUB 1.0 and an unnamed sequel, both for release in 2004.[1]


The Recruit has been translated into 20 languages, including:

  • Czech - "Nováček" ("The novice")
  • French - "100 jours en enfer" ("100 days in hell")
  • German - "Top Secret: Der Agent"
  • Japanese - "スカウト” (Scout) [2]
  • Polish - "Rekrut"
  • Portuguese - "O Recruta"
  • Russian - "Новобранец" (Novobranyets - "The Rookie")
  • Spanish - "Entrenamiento Básico" ("Basic Training")
  • Norwegian - "Rekrutten"
  • Danish - "Ilddåb" ("Firebirth")
  • Dutch - "Top Secret


Audio book[edit]

A 3-CD audiobook was released in the UK on September 21, 2006 read by Julian Rhind-Tutt.

Critical reception[edit]

The Recruit received generally good reviews being nominated for 8 awards and winning 7.[3] The Sunday Express described the book as, 'Punchy, exciting, glamorous and, what's more, you'll completely wish it was true.'


Award Category Year Result
Red House Children's Book Award Older readers 2005 Winner[4]
Bolton Children's Book Award 2005 Winner[5]
Medway Children's Book Award 2005 Winner
Bishop Luffa Children's Book Award 2005 Winner
Salford Children's Book Award 2005 Winner[6]
Doncaster Children's Book Award 2005 Runner up
Sakura Medal 2007 Winner[7]
Richard and Judy Best Kids' Books Fluent 12+ category 2007 Winner[8]
Kingston Young Readers Award 2007 Winner


  1. ^ a b c d Muchamore, Robert. "Robert Muchamore Biograpphy: The CHERUB years". Retrieved 13 February 2010. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Muchamore, Robert. "Book one: The Recruit". Retrieved 11 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "Baby book wins children's award". BBC. 2005-05-11. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  5. ^ "Robert Muchamore wins Bolton Children's Book Award". SLA. 2005-07-04. Retrieved 2008-03-07. 
  6. ^ "The 2005 Award". Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  7. ^ "Sakura Medal 2007 Winners". ASIJ. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 
  8. ^ "The eight best books every child should read, by Richard and Judy". Daily Mail. 2007-09-25. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 

External links[edit]