To Catch a Cheat
Written by Varian Johnson
Hacking and technology geeks get the upper hand over classic classroom cheats in this fun, Encyclopedia Brown type novel. Jackson Greene, hero of book one, The Great Greene Heist, returns with his diverse gang that meets in an old shed to plan their projects. A couple of the gang are super tech savvy, while Jackson remains the leader and master mind. They use invisible ink, tricky watches and new light bulbs to bring about interesting results.
A couple of classic bullies have produced a phony video of Jackson and his team, causing mayhem and a flood at the school when they were nowhere near the stopped up toilets. In order to clear their names, Jackson sets up an elaborate plan seeming to go along with the bullies in stealing a final exam. There are twists and turns today’s middle grade readers will enjoy as they understand the video systems and computer gadgets at work. This series looks ready to gain a big following.
Teachers and librarians will want to introduce this series to the techno geeks as well as the readers in their middle school. It is fast paced with well-developed characters. It would make a great book club read, or a fun read aloud for a small group of reluctant readers. English teachers can use it to satisfy literacy standards in the common core in many areas, including: characterization, setting, dialogue, and main idea. But the students will love the revenge, the planning, and maybe even all the start trek movie references.