James Choke is one of the toughest kids in his school. No one messes around with him. When a girl in his class makes fun of his overweight mother, he retaliates. The girl's face is cut open and James is expelled from school. Before he can tell his mom what happens, he discovers her dead in her armchair. James is sent to Nebraska Home because his stepfather and the father of his sister Lauren, don't want him. James joins a dangerous gang and gets caught stealing beers. He spends the night in a cell and wakes up in the morning in a completely different location.
James has been relocated to the campus of CHERUB, an agency that trains children to become spies for the British government. After passing a series of tests which included karate and mathematics, James is offered a place at CHERUB, which he readily takes. After changing his name to James Adams, he begins the difficult task of learning how to swim. Once he successfully swims 50 meters, he starts Basic Training.
Basic Training is designed to work the trainees to the point of physical and mental exhaustion so when they go on missions as a CHERUB agent, they can perform at a higher level. James's partner, Kerry, has already been through basic training before. She was kicked out halfway through due to a knee injury, and knows all the shortcuts on the obstacle course. She and James overcome their differences and become a well-oiled machine. After a grueling 100 days of physical labor, exhaustion, extreme cold, an instructor that seems to enjoy torturing the trainees, and a trip to sunny Malaysia, James and Kerry pass Basic Training and become CHERUB agents.
After waiting around at the CHERUB campus while all his friends go on missions, James is finally given an assignment with his swim instructor, Amy. They are going to uncover any information concerning the “hippie town,” Fort Harmony, and an environmentalist/ terrorist group, Help Earth! The two kids stay with a woman from Fort Harmony and begin to unravel a plot to kill all the oil company representatives in the upcoming “Petrocon” oil convention. Will James and Amy foil Help Earth!'s plot?
This report prepared by Katharine Schwab