Can You Keep a Secret? How to Create Invisible Ink

Close up of a girl asking silence


In Kate Scott’s Spies in Disguise series, Joe has to go undercover . . . as a girl!  And he’s not very happy about it. Whether it’s the perfect hideout, disguise, or a message, every good spy needs to know how to keep a secret, and how to pass on secret messages so important information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Now, you can create secret messages, too!

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create your own invisible ink so that your most important messages don’t fall into enemy hands (or your little sisters)!


How to Create Invisible Ink:lemon

What you’ll need:

  • A lemon
  • Water
  • Cotton swabs
  • A bowl
  • A piece of white paper
  • A lamp that’s plugged in and on.
  • A grown-up


Step 1: Ask your grown-up to cut a lemon in half for you.

Step 2:  Squeeze the lemon into a bowl.

Step 3: Add a few drops of water, and stir the mixture together.

Step 4: Dip a cotton swab into your lemon juice/water mixture and write a secret message on your paper.

Step 5: Let your invisible ink dry. Your message will vanish.

Step 6: Put the paper near a lightbulb of a lamp that’s turned on, and it will suddenly appear. Be careful not to get too close to the bulb. It’ll be hot! You might want to ask your grown-up to help with this step.




Spies in Disguise: Boy in Tights by Kate Scott

boy in tights



The day starts out like any other until Joe gets home to find his parents packed and ready to run! His dad hands him a disguise and they’re out the door, his mom driving the family to safety as if she were in a Formula 1 car while his dad works the dashboard like an experienced computer hacker. What is going on?

Joe’s parents are no ordinary mom and dad. As professional spies, they are experts in their field, but they’ve been undercover so long that they thought their secret was safe! Now, their covers have been blown, and they’re going to need to start over somewhere else. This time, Joe’s in on the mission. And he’s going to have to go undercover. As a girl.

“No way,” says Joe. “Absolutely no way!” But his family’s safety is the top priority, and the people who are after them won’t be looking for a family with a girl. Joe is about to become Josie, and it doesn’t matter if the tights itch his thighs or that it’s drafty under his dress. It’s up to him to keep his family safe! He’s on a mission, and there might be some pretty cool gadgets involved. Dive into a new chapter book series that is sure to keep you laughing from page to page.



And coming this Fall: 

Spies in Disguise: Boy in a Tutu by Kate Scotttutu

Joe thought he had the hang of this undercover thing. Sure, he has to dress up as a girl and change his name to “Josie” to keep his family safe, but he can still play soccer, and his new friend Sam knows his secret so he at least has someone to talk to. Not to mention, it’s finally time for Joe and Sam to learn how to be proper spies—gadgets and all! Joe is prepared to prove to his parents that he’s ready for a big mission.

Their first mission isn’t exactly what either of them had in mind, though. Joe and Sam have to go undercover . . . as ballerinas! Joe isn’t thrilled about the idea of wearing a tutu, but he’s more than ready to track down the potential thief of a soccer memorabilia exhibit at the local community center. He will dance like a flamingo if it means keeping the coveted keepsakes of his favorite sport safe.

Unfortunately, Joe and Sam have very different ways of approaching the mission and their tactics clash. Once best friends and partners-in-spying, they now are determined to crack the case without each other. When Joe’s parents get word from HQ that an enemy spy is on their trail, there is no other option for Joe and Sam except to put their differences aside and work together to solve the case.


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