Title: Swindle

Author: Gordon Korman
Age Range: 9-12 years ; grades 3-7
Genre: adventure ; school story

Griffin Bing is always “the man with a plan” – one that usually involves his friend Ben. This time Griffin’s plan includes breaking and entering, coming face-to-face with a fierce guard dog, and recruiting an assorted of helpers from his 6th grade class, an effort to retrieve an extremely rare and valuable baseball card from an unscrupulous dealer. The first in a series of three, so far – the tale is fast-paced and completely focuses on the kids’ point of view. While the action is somewhat improbable (okay, very improbable), Korman doesn’t tie up the ending in a completely phoney bow. Griffin doesn’t win all his battles, but he does end up in a good position. Some adults might be challenged by some of the details of Griffin’s plan (breaking and entering) as well as his “omitting” to the tell the truth to the police when he becomes a suspect. This book would lead to a good discussion on the question of “do two wrongs make a right?” and what to do when adults don’t listen to kids. A good book for boys and girls, Swindle would also work well for a read-aloud. The story of Griffin Bing continues with Zoobreak (2009) and Framed (2010).

Find it in the catalog.

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