Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Booklist (November 1, 2009 (Vol. 106, No. 5))
Grades 4-7. There’s a great deal going on plotwise in this sequel to Swindle (2008), and that’s just how the legions of Korman fans like it. Once again, “The Man with the Plan” Griffin, animal expert Savannah and her Great Dane Luthor, and Everykid Ben join forces to solve a mystery. This time, they’re out to rescue Savannah’s pet monkey Cleo from an unethical zoo owner. When Cleo disappears from Savannah’s backyard and is later spotted on a school field trip to a decrepit floating zoo, madcap plans and adventures ensue: getting to and from the zoo in the middle of the night; distracting Klaus, the overzealous security guard; springing Cleo from her cage; and ultimately stashing more than 40 freed zoo animals in classmates’ houses without any parents noticing. Although often implausible, the action is fast and entertaining, with just the right amount of realistic drama to ring true. Korman knows his audience well, and readers will clamor for a third installment featuring these intrepid young crime solvers.

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