Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Lisa Bullard
Houghton Mifflin

Available: Hard copy, Kindle  
Thirteen-year-old Trav is fed up with his mom's new marriage, so he takes off for his grandmother's house for a little unannounced visit. He finds that rural Minnesota is more than just miles away from his life in California. Everything is different than he expected.
He meets Kenny and Iz, a couple of kids his age next door. They drop the bomb that his dad was a bank robber. Trav is shocked at the news. It's the last thing he expected to hear about his father. To further complicate things, the money was never found and his father seemed to have disappeared off the map at the same time. Does this mean his dad dead or living it up on a tropical island in paradise? The three new friends decide to search for the missing cash. It's not long before they realize they aren't the only ones looking for it.
This is a classic mystery story that totally up-to-date and a compelling read. Trav's voice is great. It's funny, poignant and sounds like a real thirteen-year-old without going over the top. Plus the story is more than just a mystery. It's about a boy's quest to learn about his family roots and where he fits in. It also has a little romance which is sure to delight the middle grade reader.

Target audience: Grades 6-8
Mystery/ suspense: excellent
Kid appeal: a must read

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