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In The Recruit, who is the first CHERUB agent that James meets?
The competition closes on Thursday April 23rd 2009. For full terms and conditions
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"I can't believe it's been 5 years since The Recruit was published. When I do events people always ask what my favorite CHERUB is and I always say The Recruit.
"It's not because it's the best thing I've written, but because getting your first book published is really difficult and the moment when you see your own book for the first time is amazing!"
(1) The original title of the book was CHERUB 1.0, the sequels were going to be called CHERUB 2.0, CHERUB 3.0. We'll leave you to work out what The Killing would have been called under this system...
(2) The original opening was much more violent. Instead of accidentally cutting Samantha's face with a nail, James smashed her head against a tray of glass beakers and made blood spray everywhere.
(3) Robert spent over a year working on the book. All his subsequent books have been written in less than half that time.
(4) The book was rejected by seven publishers. The most common reason stated in the rejection letters was that boys wouldn't want to read The Recruit because it was too complicated and had too many girls in it.
(5) The original cover idea was a boot print in mud. Robert wanted the cover to be trainees hanging off a climbing frame, in homage to a famous scene in his favorite film, 'Full Metal Jacket.
The Recruit has been translated into 20 different languages, with 22 different editions. All countries except the USA and Germany use the CHERUB logo.
Below, from top left to bottom right: Spain, France, Poland, Japan, Russia, Germany, Portugal, USA
The rarest Recruits are proof copies. These have PROOF COPY stamped on the front and the publisher's telephone numbers on the back. They're the first CHERUB books ever produced. Only 750 were made.
Next rarest are first editions without the Daily Express quote on the front cover.
You can find out what edition you have by looking at the copyright page, which faces 'What is CHERUB?' at the start of the book.
A first edition would have a string of numbers from 10 down to 1. The lowest number in the string is the edition number. So for instance, 10,9,8 would be from the 8th printing of the book. More recent books just have a single number, which is easier to understand!
None of the later editions are rare because by this time the books were much more popular. However, the 20th printing had a Richard & Judy logo embossed on the cover that only lasted one printing.
The black Ultimate Edition was only printed once and comes with Class A built in! There is also an audio CD and a large print version published by the BBC.
The most recent editions have colour printing inside the cover and a new back cover design with a red stripe above the barcode (see left). The latest printing is number 28.
Anyone over the age of 13 can join the forum at www.cherubforums.com