Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Review: Masterminds

Gordon Korman
Balzer & Bray, 2015
Genre: Mystery, Middle Grade, Action
Source: Purchased for my classroom library
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Eli and his friends live in Serenity, New Mexico.  It's the best place to live, with only 30 other kids there, no crime, no homelessness, no lying.  They're reminded on a regular basis how lucky they are to live there, when outside of their town it's not so great.  When Eli's best friend is sent away to his grandparents, though, things get weird, and they all try to figure out what it is that makes their town so "great."  Now they have to sneak around their parents, the "Purple People Eater" guards, and break into the plasticworks where almost every adult is employed.  In a town as great as theirs, there's no way that all the adults could be lying--right?

This is a really fun mystery/adventure story.  Gordon Korman knows how to build a story and to get kids interested.  Although there are about 30 kids in Serenity, this story focuses on Eli and four of his friends, switching between points of view each chapter.  As soon as they get wind of something not being quite right, all five go through their own reservations before they realize that they have to uncover the truth.

This is definitely a mystery and we're given a few clues here and there to unlock the truth, but it does come out pretty quickly.  When they finally come discover what exactly is going on in their town, they have to decide on a plan of action and that's where things get interesting.  Lots of action and fast paced adventure for readers who enjoy The 39 Clues and other adventures.

There is a second book that came out in February, 2016 and a third one is possibly being worked on.  I can't vouch for the future existence of a third book, though.

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