Watson, Jude. Loot: How to Steal a Fortune. Fiction. Scholastic, 2014. 272p. $16.99. 978-0-545-46802-2. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 5-8.
Trained by his father, a notorious cat burglar who dies in the opening scene, 12-year-old March McQuin puzzles over his father’s cryptic personal notes. Guided by these mysterious clues and aided by an amazing set of coincidences, March discovers a twin sister Jules. Through a madcap series of adventures, the two learn that a curse predicts their imminent death. In a rollicking farce that tickles and thrills, the twins and two friends plan and carry out a series of jewel heists at the expense of ethically challenged adults. Broadly drawn characters—a hilarious assortment of buffoonish types—threaten to thwart their heroic efforts at every crooked turn of the plot. One short episode even occurs in San Francisco. Short chapters, elements of wishful fantasy, and cinematic scenes make this laugh-out loud, hair-raising picaresque novel a rousing read.
Linda Perkins, Independent
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