Have you ever met a kid that was a natural schemer-- someone who is always coming up with some crazy plan to accomplish this or that grand idea. That is the kind of kid Griffin is in this story by Gordon Korman. The book starts with Griffin and his best friend, Ben, sleeping in an old house that is scheduled to be demolished the next day. Griffin had hoped other kids would join them in an attempt to protest the plans for the piece of land the house was on. Instead, Griffin finds a old baseball card in an derelict desk drawer that had been left in the house. He takes the card to a collector, who gives him $100 for it. The collector, S. Wendell Palomino, then turns around and schedules to auction the card with the starting price of tens of thousands of dollars. Griffin feels like he has been swindled, so he recruits some friends to try to steel the card back from Palomino.
This was a interesting book. The kids are clever and persistent, and there are some fun and exciting sequences but it was a little unsettling to me that none of the kids on the final heist team seemed to have very strong qualms about robbing someone's house. The author is sure to make it so that the heist doesn't pay off like the kids had hoped, but it still pays off in the end, and the kids get into no real trouble for committing a "breaking and entering" robbery that caused real property damage. This could be a good book for a parent and child to read together, and then discuss the ethical issues. (252 p)