Greetings from Witness Protection!
Greetings from Witness Protection!

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Annotation: Thirteen-year-old Nikki Demere is an orphan and a kleptomaniac, making her the perfect girl to portray the Trevors' daughter in witness protection; but she soon learns that the biggest threat to her new family comes from her own past.
Catalog Number: #160787
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 359 pages
Availability: Special Order Only - Contact Customer Service at +1 800 637-6581 or +1 217 243-5451
ISBN: Publisher: 1-250-10711-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1272-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-250-10711-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1272-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016045720
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
A family moving to North Carolina under witness protection adopts thirteen-year-old smart-alecky orphan Nicki to help conceal them from the Mafia-like crime gang they testified against. From this unlikely premise Burt crafts an engaging story of family and friendship. Nicki is a clever and resourceful heroine to cheer on, and her voice is engaging throughout the unusual plot.
Publishers Weekly
The biggest complaint that readers may have about Burt-s debut novel is that it ends. Sassy, snarky Nicki Demere-a 13-year-old foster kid with a big heart and the quick hands of a seasoned thief-is commissioned by the U.S. marshals to join a family in the Witness Protection Program that is hiding from one of the deadliest crime organizations in the country. As daughter Charlotte, she-ll help them fly under the radar in North Carolina. Nicki/Charlotte is caustically charming (-I wondered how much pressure you could lift off new kids at a school if they could say -Sorry, I-d try harder, but the U.S. government ordered me not to be that cool---), and despite her propensity to pick people-s pockets when she-s nervous, her eagerness to love (and be loved) and her unabashed bluntness make her endearing from page one. Burt nimbly balances the very real danger the family is in with new family/new town hijinks that keep the story light; Charlotte-s banter with her new -brother- is spot-on funny, and the nail-biter of a climax doesn-t disappoint. Ages 10-14. Agent: Rebecca Stead, Book Group. (Oct.)

School Library Journal
Gr 58What do you get when you mix a snarky city girl with a shady past and lightning reflexes with a seemingly typical suburban family she's just met? A funny, action-packed novel about the trials of school, parental arguments, and sibling rivalryall with a dash of high-stakes thrills and dramatic showdowns. Nicki Demere has been living in foster care ever since her father was arrested, biding her time until her father comes to bring her home. But FBI agents arrive first. They want Nicki to be part of an inaugural program that trains and places selected foster children with families under witness protection, thereby changing the nature of the families' makeup so they are harder to track down. Spurred on by a disappointing revelation about her own family, Nicki agrees. Despite the protagonist's tough, wisecracking exterior, she finds herself building bonds and connecting with the new people in her life: shy gamer Britt, chirpy student council member Holly, and, most of all, her new family, even sullen young Jackson. But will Nicki's past and her many secrets threaten all she is starting to care about? Young fans of Ally Carter's "Gallagher Girls" spy novels and the "Heist Society" art thief series will relish the action and fast-paced plot as well as the engaging and competent Nicki, whose emotional strength and quick wits carry her through much of the narrative. VERDICT Difficult topics are touched upon but swiftly resolved, making this light read a good choice for tween collections.Evelyn Khoo Schwartz, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* When Nicki Demere, 13, is plucked from the foster-care system by two U.S. marshals, she isn't expecting to become one herself. But there is, you see, a family in witness protection hiding from a notorious criminal family, and the government thinks that adding an extra kid to the protected family will strengthen its disguise. And who better than adaptable, pickpocket extraordinaire Nicki? Fitted out with a brand-new name (Charlotte Trevor), strict instructions not to stand out (she's to get a B-minus average, make a few friends without getting super-popular, and practice a sport without excelling), and a shiny Taser (only because she begged), plucky Nicki/Charlotte adjusts to her new life and family, complete with an obnoxious younger brother. But flying under the radar is harder than it seems, and it will take every bit of street smarts she has to keep herself and her new family safe. Burt, a fifth-grade teacher, nails the tween voice in his fiction debut. Nicki, sassy but lonely, is an endearing, easy-to-root-for heroine, and the bonds she forms with the Trevor family as well as her numerous escapades charm as easily as they entertain. A delightful, sometimes touching balance of action, humor, and heart.
Voice of Youth Advocates
Nicki’s dad is in and out of jail and her mom has never been in the picture. After her grandmother dies, Nicki is placed in a series of foster homes but none of them “stick,” partly because of her sticky-fingers propensity that shows up when she is anxious. Now, the U.S. Marshals want street-smart Nicki, with her grifter’s abilities to adapt and read people, to join the Witness Protection Program. The government is changing the family structure of a former mafia family from New York in order to throw the bad guys off their scent. Nicki turns this powerful, connected family with one child into a family of four living in rural North Carolina. Nicki is excited for the fresh start and tries her hardest to blend in, both at school and at home. When push comes to shove, though, Nicki cannot maintain her cover. In the end, Nicki’s quick thinking and fearlessness save the family that she grows to love. Nicki is a precocious character—it is often hard to remember that she is only in seventh grade. It does not matter, though, because the over-the-top situations absorb the characters’ improbabilities. What results is a fun story showcasing a smart, bold girl who creates for herself a community of similarly good-hearted, high-achieving girlfriends—all while playing by the marshals’ rules, building a family, dealing with middle school drama, and wrestling her own demons (kleptomania). For readers who enjoy ordinary-kid-turns-hero stories, Burt’s debut novel will be an engaging treat.—Jennifer Miskec.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (10/1/17)
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (7/1/17)
Voice of Youth Advocates
Word Count: 81,646
Reading Level: 5.1
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.1 / points: 12.0 / quiz: 192703 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.6 / points:19.0 / quiz:Q72240
Lexile: 750L
Guided Reading Level: F

Nicki Demere is an orphan and a pickpocket. She also happens to be the U.S. Marshals' best bet to keep a family alive. . . . The marshals are looking for the perfect girl to join a mother, father, and son on the run from the nation's most notorious criminals. After all, the bad guys are searching for a family with one kid, not two, and adding a streetwise girl who knows a little something about hiding things may be just what the marshals need. Nicki swears she can keep the Trevor family safe, but to do so she'll have to dodge hitmen, cyberbullies, and the specter of standardized testing, all while maintaining her marshal-mandated B-minus average. As she barely balances the responsibilities of her new identity, Nicki learns that the biggest threats to her family's security might not lurk on the road from New York to North Carolina, but rather in her own past. Jake Burt's debut middle-grade novel Greetings from Witness Protection! is as funny as it is poignant.

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