Cover image for FBI girl : how I learned to crack my father's code
FBI girl : how I learned to crack my father's code
Conlon-McIvor, Maura.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
306 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.5 14.0 86341.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CT275.C7628 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
CT275.C7628 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
CT275.C7628 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

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Young Maura Conlon's dad is a secret agent. And she knows what that means: chasing cars, jumping over buildings, handcuffing bad guys, just like on "The FBI," her favorite TV show. No matter how many times she asks her father about his work, he never says anything. So Maura decides to become an FBI girl-in-training. A heartwarming tale of a father/daughter relationship, this is about family bonds, the trials that test them, and the triumphs that make them stronger.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Growing up Catholic in the 1960s, Conlon-McIvor's favorite religious figure was the Blessed Virgin Mary, and her favorite book character was Nancy Drew. Mysteries fascinated her, and no wonder; her father was an FBI agent, whose car trunk was filled with bullets. Her dream was to follow his path and crack the code that made his every glance and word so deliciously baffling. It took many years before Conlon-McIvor understood that her father's taciturn, moody behavior had little to do with his job; it grew from deep sadness and an inability to express emotion. In this touchingly honest memoir, always true to a child's point of view, the author remakes herself as the naive child and awkward teen she was, growing up in a family mostly held together by commitment to her youngest brother, born with Down syndrome. Memories of her long-suffering mother; her beloved uncle Father Jack; and, most of all, her father, whose code she finally cracks, blend beautifully in this occasionally funny, affecting account of family ties and personal growth. --Stephanie Zvirin Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Conlon-McIvor was a Hoover-era FBI agent's daughter, and her diverting memoir tells her story from birth to adolescence while depicting her father as a man so taciturn that she became convinced his every word was code for something else. As a kid, determined to decipher his character and the other silences around her, the author cast herself in an ongoing dream life as a Nancy Drew-type agent. This made her somewhat withdrawn and silent herself, and at her Catholic school she became known as the shy girl. At home her mother and siblings livened things up, even though the condition of Joey, the youngest, born with Down's syndrome, made her father even more remote. Other relatives in the extended Irish-American family, especially Maura's New York uncle Father Jack, provided a sense of a larger world in a home where the picture of J. Edgar Hoover frowned down from the wall. When tragedy struck, playing at secret agent didn't help as it used to, and Conlon-McIvor finally grew into herself. She conveys her time (the 1960s) and setting (Los Angeles) with precision and detail; her feel for story, structure and understatement rightfully earns the poignancy of many moments. Agent, Stephanie Kip Rostan. (Aug. 24) Forecast: Conlon-McIvor's straightforward, funny memoir will appeal to readers of Jennifer Lauck's Blackbird and Mary Karr's The Liars' Club. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Conlon-McIvor writes lovingly of her childhood in Southern California as the second of five children of Hoover-era FBI agent Joe Conlon and his homemaker wife, Mary. The author's father clearly held center stage in her childhood, while her youngest brother, a Down syndrome child, was the heart of the family. Conlon-McIvor spent years keeping her own FBI log, trying desperately to glean information-any information-from her silent father. As she got older, she came to see that his quiet nature was not just the requisite FBI-agent reticence but part of his true personality. This realization, coupled with support from her mother, helped her overcome her own painful shyness. Sadly, the author relates that a loved one of the Conlon family was murdered, but she does not make the heartbreaking details the focus of her book. Readers will enjoy this journey through Conlon-McIvor's Irish American, Catholic-school childhood. An endearing, truthful, and joyful account of coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s; highly recommended.-Karen Sandlin Silverman, CFAR-Ctr. for Applied Research, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.