Rummanah Aasi
  I'm really enjoying this year's list of book for the Bluestem Award! I always look forward to reading books by Gordon Korman. I previously read Schooled and Son of the Mob, both of which had a fun plot and great characters. Korman tackles a crime heist in Swindle.

Description: When Griffin Bing and his pal Ben discover an old Babe Ruth baseball card in a home about to be demolished, Griffin dreams of selling it for thousands and use his share of the money to help with his families growing financial woes. The boys are somewhat deflated when they present the card to collectibles dealer S. Wendell Palomino and he suggests that it is not an original but rather a reproduction and buys it for just $120. When the books read about the card in a newspaper and discover that the card was indeed an extremely rare misprint and worth millions of dollars. Outraged at having been taken advantage of, Griffin plans to steal the valuable card back from Palomino, also known as "Swindle." Will Griffin be successful in his plan to con the conman?

Review: Swindle is a delightful and quick read that I finished in one afternoon. It made me laugh in several places and by the end of the book, I had a big smile on my face. Griffin is known as "the man with a plan" amongst his group of friends. When he discovers his rare misprint of a Babe Ruth card was appraised incorrectly and is now being auctioned at a much higher rate, he gets angry but more importantly wants to get even. He recruits his friends, who all have a special talents (i.e. dog whisperer, an expert in technology, etc), and develops a plan to steal back his card.
  Swindle has the traditional kids-versus-adults themed story that is purely plot-driven. Though there are some steps in the heist that are a bit stretch to believe in as an adult, I don't think younger readers will have any complaints. Things don't always go according to Griffin's plan, which is half the fun, but everything turns out all right in the end. Griffin even learns a lesson or two by the end of the book, which come naturally once the adults get involved with all that is happening.
 Swindle would be a good choice for reluctant readers, who enjoy sports, especially boys. The chapters are short and the pace is quick. The characters with their quirky personalities make you laugh and want to root for them. You can almost always count on Korman to deliver a fun book and I look forward to reading more by this prolific writer.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. A great choice for a read aloud for Grades 3 and up.

If you like this book try: Heist Society by Ally Carter, Zoobreak by Gordon Korman, or The Boys Start a War by Phyllis Reynolds
7 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Sounds like a cute story! My cousin isn't really all that into reading at the moment, but I think this sounds like something he would enjoy. Thanks Rummanah!

  2. Lauren M Says:

    Haha, this book sounds like so much fun! I can almost imagine the story as a Saturday morning cartoon. Great review! :)

  3. Unknown Says:

    I loved this one! I'm surprised many people haven't heard about it, but I remember my brother BEGGING for some money when it came out, lol! Thanks for the review, Rummanah!

  4. Ha! I like stories that run with ideas that are a bit unbelievable. Sometimes the bigger the stretch, the more likely it could happen. LOL

    Really sounds like a fun read.

  5. This sounds very cute. A perfect boy kids book. I might have even liked it as a girl. Do you think young kids see through big coincidences like you say there are here?

  6. Jenny: I hope he gives this one a whirl!

    Lauren: I had the same thought while reading it. I think it would be awesome if they made it into a cartoon series. :)

    Hafsah: That's too cute! I hope he didn't swindle you out of more money than the book costs. ;)

    Missie: I will say that the kids impressed me with how much thought they put into the heist.

    Alison: Absolutely! I think the kids would be more enthralled on how the main characters are forming the thought and execution of the heist. I was actually wondering how long it will take the adults to figure out what is going on and to intervene.

  7. I love characters with quirk personalities and books that leave you grinning. This sounds awesome. Great review :)

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