Wednesday, September 3, 2008


SWINDLE; Gordon Korman; New York: Scholastic, 2008; 252pp. Juvenile fiction.

Griffin Bing is "the Man with a Plan," and the night before the old Rockford house is demolished, he plans for all the kids in his class to spend the night in protest that the vacated ground won't be used for a skateboard park. Only his best friend Ben Slovak shows up and after a kind of scary night, they have to run from the building to avoid the wrecking ball, but not before Griffin finds a very old Babe Ruth baseball card in an old rolltop desk. Hoping to end his family's financial struggles, he takes the card to a dealer who gives him $120 for it and then shows up on TV with this invaluable card which he hopes to auction for a million dollars. Griffin and his friends decide to steal it back, and the wild rumpus starts. Swindle is a very funny book about friendship, ingenuity, a young Dog Whisperer trying to connect with the Inner Doberman. Perfect for kids from fourth grade up, especially reluctant reader boys.

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