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Series: Swindle Vol. 1   

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Annotation: After unscrupulous collector S. Wendell Palamino cons him out of a valuable baseball card, sixth-grader Griffin Bing puts together a band of misfits to break into Palomino's heavily guarded store and steal the card back, planning to use the money to finance his father's failing invention, the SmartPick fruit picker.
Catalog Number: #37137
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition Date: 2008
Pages: 252 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-439-90345-9 Perma-Bound: 0-605-25457-5
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-439-90345-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-25457-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2007017225
Dimensions: 19 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Griffin Bing is "The Man With The Plan." Faced with a predicament, he responds with a caper of equal or greater proportions, the likes of which would make Lucille Ball proud. When he finds a rare baseball card, the sale of which would rescue his family's mechanical fruit-picking tool business, and loses it to the titular, nefarious collectibles dealer, Griffin puts together a team of sixth-grade specialists to pull off the biggest heist Cedarville has ever seen. The high jinks move along at a heady clip, punctuated by facsimile reproductions of Griffin's elaborate plans and team communications. The characters are stock (long-suffering best friend, mousy computer enthusiast, self-important thespian), and what seems to be a product placement for a car calls undue attention to itself in a few places. But the plot is the main attraction, and its clever intricacies lly, deceptively predictable, and seasoned with the occasional, unexpected twist not disappoint.
Horn Book
After being swindled out of a valuable baseball card by an unscrupulous dealer, Griffin Bing comes up with a plan to steal it back. He's assisted by an assorted group of friends including tentative Ben, "computer genius" Melissa, and plucky animal lover Savannah. Readers will enjoy the action and adventure as well as the kid-power theme in this entertaining read.
Voice of Youth Advocates
Eleven-year-old Griffin Bing enlists sixth grade friends who have computer, climbing, acting, animal handling, and swindling skills to retrieve a possible million-dollar Babe Ruth baseball card from a shop owner who scammed it from Griffin for only $125. Griffin hopes that selling the card will solve his parents' financial problems brought on by his father quitting his engineering job to focus on his invention, the SmartPick, which picks fruit without bruising it. The crew sends the shop owner tickets to a hockey game and break into his house while he is gone. With the help of the SmartPick, they overcome hostile guard dogs, security systems, neighbor surveillance, and betrayal to secure the card, but Griffin must return it to its rightful owner. Eventually the card funds the building of a town museum that includes a skate park, which is dedicated to Griffin and his team, and the caper brings attention and investors to the SmartPick so that Griffin's family is financially secure. Korman's fast moving, feel-good suspense novel will have middle schoolers, especially boys, turning the pages. Griffin, "The Man With a Plan," is resourceful but believable and likeable. He needs his friends, learns from them, and makes some poor choices for good causes. He out thinks the bad guys, supports his father (the good guy), and commits a crime with which even the police sympathize. The dog cover, large print, and ample white space make it reluctant reader material.-Lucy Schall.
Word Count: 34,653
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 119940 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.4 / points:10.0 / quiz:Q42885
Lexile: 710L
Guided Reading Level: S
Fountas & Pinnell: S

Discussion Guide: Swindle Discussion Guide

Teacher's Guide: Swindle Teacher's Guide

Ocean's 11 . . . with 11-year-olds, in a super stand-alone heist caper from Gordon Korman!

After a mean collector named Swindle cons him out of his most valuable baseball card, Griffin Bing must put together a band of misfits to break into Swindle's compound and recapture the card. There are many things standing in their way -- a menacing guard dog, a high-tech security system, a very secret hiding place, and their inability to drive -- but Griffin and his team are going to get back what's rightfully his . . . even if hijinks ensue.
This is Gordon Korman at his crowd-pleasing best, perfect for readers who like to hoot, howl, and heist.

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