Hi, just reading the Recruit, the first of the Cherub series because my daughter had to read it for a book club and absolutely went mad for it! She said she's never read a book which made her feel so much like it was actually happening to her, as if she was one of the characters.
I'm now half way through, and can see what she loves about it, although I was a bit surprised at the level of grittiness at the opening. The 11 year old protagonist, James, deals with the death of his drunkard, thief of a mother, rejection by his violent, loser step-father, the loss of his half sister (the only family member he loves) and gets put into a pretty rough children's home. From there he gets recruited to Cherub - a government run sort of Kids' secret agent school. Then it gets really exciting.
Apparently the series is now on book 18 - not sure I'll last that long, but so far, I feel as though we've hit on something good.